Trial of ex-minister via WhatsApp: Supreme Court raps lower court

WhatsApp trial
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Former Jharkhand minister Yogendra Sao and his wife Nirmala Devi have moved the apex court saying the trial judge in April this year had framed charges against them through ‘WhatsApp’ call

The Hush Post: Supreme Court has taken a strong note of a lower court conducting trial in a criminal case through WhatsApp. A former Jharkhand minister and his wife involved in the case moved the matter to the apex court.

Yogendra Sao and his wife Nirmala Devi moved the apex court saying the trial judge in April this year framed charges against them through ‘WhatsApp’ call, a report said.

The Supreme Court was left wondering as to how this kind of a “joke” was allowed.

Ex-minister of Yogendra Sao and his wife Nirmala Devi were accused in a case of rioting in 2016. They were granted bail in 2017. But the court imposed a condition that they shall not enter Jharkhand except for attending court proceedings.

Minister & his wife had raised objection to framing of charges through Whatsapp

They appealed in the Supreme Court that the trial judge on April 19 framed charges against them through a ‘WhatsApp’ call.

A Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices SA Bobde and LN Rao took serious note of the submissions. “What is happening in Jharkhand. This process cannot be allowed, and we cannot allow administration of justice to be brought into disrepute,” they said.

“We are here on the way of trial being conducted through WhatsApp. This cannot be done. What kind of a trial is this? Is this a kind of joke?” the Bench asked the counsel appearing for Jharkhand.

The Bench issued notice to Jharkhand on the plea by both the accused. They have sought transfer of their cases from Hazaribagh to New Delhi.

Jharkhand’s counsel told the top court that Yogendra Sao were violating the bail condition and were out of Bhopal most of the time due to which proceedings in the case were delayed.

On this, the Bench ruled: “That is a different thing. If you have a problem with violation of bail conditions by the accused, you can file a separate application seeking cancellation of bail. We make it clear that we have no sympathy with those who have violated bail condition.”

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