A PIL has been filed seeking directions for commencing limited physical hearing for the criminal trials which are pending for more than ten years where the accused are lingering in the custody before the Bombay High Court. Advocate Aarti Suvarna said that as gradual unlock process which the State and Centre began from June 4 and contended that since government and private offices are now functioning even in limited capacity and malls, hotels, restaurants, gymnasiums have also been opened, the criminal trial of custody matters which are pending for more than a decade should be commenced for the speedy justice by implementing the Standard Operating Procedures by starting limited physical hearing for the trial of criminal cases( 30- 50 % strength).
During the lockdown as well as unlock phase that was in implementation, urgent matters have been heard through video conferencing by almost all the courts, as on date the Honourable High Courts, as well as District courts, have started limited physical hearings of urgent cases along with hearings which are conducted through video conferencing was said by the 36-year-old resident of South Mumbai.
If criminal trials where accused have been in the custody for more than a decade are not commenced it would be a violation of human rights argued the petitioner. The petitioner also stated that the Principle of natural justice, equity, and fair play requires that trials of criminal matters in custody cases should be started for speedy justice to the undertrials which were lingering behind bars for several years.
Some of the suggestions made for the Standard Operating Procedure were criminal matters which were pending for more than a decade should be identified and enlisted, between 11 am to 5 pm only five matters should be listed for the trial, accused who is in the custody of jail can appear via video conferencing, only one Public Prosecutor and Arguing Counsel should be permitted to enter, glass shield would be used to segregate Bar and Bench, wearing gloves and mask should be made compulsory, at the entrance of the Court there must be thermal and oxygen check and sanitization should take place before and after court hours in court premises.