SC disturbed over HC's inordinate delay in hearing convict's appeal, despite serving imprisonment for more than 18 years

THE Supreme Court, on Monday, called for a report from the Registrar of the Allahabad High Court on the allegations by a convict that his appeal was not made ready for hearing despite the High Court order on January 9, 2019, to prepare the paper books within four weeks for hearing.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M. Sundresh was hearing an appeal by convict Dharmendra against rejection of his second bail application by the High Court. Dharmendra is undergoing imprisonment after having been convicted by the trial court for killing his own sister and causing injuries to her husband.
The High Court opined that the case was not fit for the bail as it involved an ‘honour killing’. However, it ordered: “prepare the paper book within a period of four weeks and list the appeal immediately thereafter for final hearing.”.
In the Supreme Court, Dharmendra, through his advocate, argued that he has already served more than 18 years with remission and more than 14 years’ actual sentence. He submitted that he filed an application to the Jail Authorities under the Uttar Pradesh Prisoners Release on Probation Act for his premature release but the same is still pending consideration, whereupon District Magistrate, Ghaziabad and Senior Superintendent of Police, Ghaziabad have recommended the premature release of the petitioner.
In addition, he argued that hearing on his appeal against the trial court order cannot take place since the High Court registry has not prepared the case file despite the High Court’s order. Besides, he submitted that he was transferred to Model Jail, Lucknow due to his good conduct and has been serving his sentence there for the last three years.
The bench called these facts “disturbing”, and proceeded to issue notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government fixing the matter for hearing on March 2.
Click here to read the order.

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