Pulling up a trial court judge, the Delhi High Court Friday said he had not followed the due process of law before awarding life imprisonment to a convict and that he had repeated the mistake for the 11th time.
A division bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Suresh Kait, while setting aside the life imprisonment awarded to Dinesh Kumar, said: “We are pained once again to note that the errant judge, whom we have repeatedly been noticing, is totally ignoring the fundamental principles of criminal law.”
“The trial court judge repeatedly repeats the same mistake and it is for the 11th time we have noticed the same,” the bench observed, giving bail to Dinesh on furnishing a personal bond and surety of Rs.10,000 each.
The bench sent the case back to the trial court for defence evidence and said, “The accused would be re-entitled to lead defence evidence.”
The court was hearing a plea filed by Dinesh, who was given life imprisonment by a trial court in 2004 for killing the wife of a property owner with whom he was involved in a tenancy dispute.
The bench faulted the trial court for ignoring the legal provisions and said, “Statements of witnesses recorded during investigation by police officer is not substantive evidence and cannot be made the basis for putting questions to accused in recording of statement.”