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Victim can also file appeal in criminal case: SC

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Oct 12: In a historic verdict, the Supreme Court on Friday ruled that besides the State, a victim of a criminal offence can also file an appeal under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in superior courts challenging acquittal of the accused without prior nod of the appellate court.

In a 2:1 majority judgment, a three-judge bench headed by Justice M B Lokur held that section 372 of CrPC (which deals with provision of appeals in criminal cases) has to be given “realistic, liberal, progressive” interpretation to benefit the victim of an offence.

Justice Lokur, who wrote the judgment for himself and Justice S Abdul Nazeer, said “there is no doubt that the proviso to Section 372 of the Cr.P.C. must be given life, to benefit the victim of an offence” and also referred to the United Nation’s General Assembly’s resolution to hold that besides the State, the victims are also entitled to appeal against the acquittal of the accused.

 

Third judge Justice Deepak Gupta dissented with the majority on sole issue as to whether victims can file the appeal without the prior leave or sanction from the appellate courts and took note of the rights of the accused in this regard.

“I am unable to agree with my learned brother that a victim can file an appeal in the High Court without seeking leave to appeal in terms of Section 378(3) of CrPC,” Justice Gupta said.

The majority verdict lamented the fact that Parliament, judiciary and civil society have only given “sporadic attention” to the rights of the victim of a crime and there was more to be done for them.

“The rights of victims of crime is a subject that has, unfortunately, only drawn sporadic attention of Parliament, the judiciary and civil society. Yet, it has made great progress over the years. It is our evolving and developing jurisprudence that has made this possible.

“But we still have a long way to go to bring the rights of victims of crime to the centre stage and to recognise them as human rights and an important component of social justice and the rule of law,” the majority judgment said, adding that, unfortunately victims of crime are still facing difficulties in getting the FIRs registered.

In a serious criminal offence, the trials and appeals are pursued by the State and victims of offences can file and appeal under CrPC only after seeking sanction from the appellate court.

According liberal and purposive interpretation to section 372 of CrPC, the majority verdict said, “it is quite obvious that the victim of an offence is entitled to a variety of rights. Access to mechanisms of justice and redress through formal procedures as provided for in national legislation, must include the right to file an appeal against an order of acquittal in a case such as the one that we are presently concerned with.”

“The travails and tribulations of victims of crime begin with the trauma of the crime itself and, unfortunately, continue with the difficulties they face in something as simple as the registration of a First Information Report (FIR),” Justice Lokur said.

“Access to justice in terms of affordability, effective legal aid and advice as well as adequate and equal representation are also problems that the victim has to contend with and which impact on society, the rule of law and justice delivery,” he added.

Justice Gupta, who dissented on the issue of Right to appeal of victims without sanction, however, concurred with the concerns raised in the majority verdict on the issue of plight of victims.

“I fully agree with my learned brother that the proviso to Section 372 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 must be given a meaning that is realistic, liberal, progressive and beneficial to the victims of the offences.

“However, at the same time, one cannot ignore the rights of the accused and the procedure prescribed by law. I am unable to agree with my learned brother that a victim can file an appeal in the High Court without seeking leave to appeal in terms of Section 378(3) of CrPC,” Justice Gupta said.


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GMC admits: Patients referred to Srinagar attended by juniors

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, Jan 21: The Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar Monday acknowledged that the patients referred to its associated hospitals in Srinagar are being treated by junior doctors.

A circular by Principal GMC, Dr Samia Rashid said it had come to her notice that “patients referred from various district, sub-district hospitals and peripheries for specialised treatment in Associated hospitals of GMC Srinagar are being attended by Junior Residents without taking advice and consultation from their Registrars and Consultants on emergency duty.”

The circular asked the head of departments and units to ensure that referral patients are only seen by registrars or senior residents on emergency duty.

 

“The head of the departments and units are also impressed upon to ensure that Consultants on emergency duty…should make periodic rounds on their emergency day and take final evening round in emergency areas. Registrars and other resident staff on emergency duty should note down their advice in respect of patients admitted,” the circular reads.

The GMC Principal, as per the circular, asked the medical superintendents of the associated hospitals to monitor the work of Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) and Casualty Medical Officer (CMOs).

“…check whether they are discharging their duties as per their job profile…take necessary disciplinary action against the RMO/CMO who fails to discharge their assigned duties.”

The GMC circular follows the Thursday’s incident in which a pregnant woman, who was referred from Kupwara to Lal Ded hospital, was forced to deliver her baby on road when the doctor on duty refused to admit her.

The baby delivered in sub-zero temperatures died soon after.

Facing flak, the hospital ordered a probe immediately, which, eventually, concluded: “The doctor with her clinical assessment/USG findings did not anticipate the precipitate delivery in her, although unfortunately the doctor on duty went against the SOP for referrals by not admitting the patient.”

 

No negligence will be tolerated: Adv Kumar

Jammu, Jan 21: Taking a serious note of alleged mishandling of a pregnant lady from District Kupwara at L. D Hospital, Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar Monday conveyed his sympathies with the affected family and assured a thorough enquiry into the unfortunate incident.

Chairing a high level meeting in this regard attended by Principal Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Atal Dullo; Principal, GMCs of Srinagar and Jammu; Directors of Health Services of Kashmir & Jammu besides Medical Superintendents of several hospitals the Advisor informed that the Governor has instructed that Hospital authorities across the State should strictly adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) in the case of referrals to tertiary care hospitals adding that no negligence in observing these SoPs would be tolerated in future.

He said maintaining high standards of health care delivery to the citizens of the State should be observed at all costs and that the Governor’s Administration is committed to fill in all the existing gaps of manpower, equipment and infrastructure to strengthen the primary healthcare system across the State.

The Advisor sought recommendations to identify the lapses and gaps so that such incidents do not take place in future. He directed the Principal GMC Srinagar and Jammu and Director Health Services Kashmir/ Jammu to identify Nodal Officers who shall solely be responsible for streamlining the referrals from primary and secondary health care institutions to tertiary care hospitals in the State.

He said that directions have been issued as part of the ‘Auditing Mechanism’ that doctor’s prescription shall be inscribed with seal/ stamp mentioning name and credentials of the prescribing and referring doctor so that responsibilities can be fixed in any eventuality.

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‘Bukhari tried to sell PDP for his personal gains’

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Srinagar, Jan 21: Refuting that Altaf Bukhari’s name was at any point suggested as an interim president of the party, Vice President Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Abdul Rahman Veeri on Monday said that seeking “self-promotion through illicit, undemocratic and unethical measures” was Bukhari’s sole agenda in PDP.
Veeri, in a statement, said that across the state, party functionaries, workers and activists en-masse support Mehbooba Mufti in her every endeavour to get the state out of the present cycle of violence.
“Every person associated with the PDP has witnessed how amid the tumultuous times Mehbooba Mufti built the party brick by brick and made it a guiding force in Jammu and Kashmir’s political landscape,” Veeri said.
He added that in spite of taking over in very trying circumstances, PDP president ran the government with “integrity and caliber”.
“However, she was back-stabbed by some people especially Altaf Bukhari,” he said.
Veeri said that by giving out his desire to become PDP President, Bukhari had “exposed his real agenda which he initiated within days after Mufti saheb’s death.”
“For that he even made Nagpur Yatra in a bid to seek their blessings for forming the government at the cost of party and state interest. Ever since the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, he tried to grab the party and sell it out for promotion of his personal ambitions,” said Veeri.
The PDP Vice President stated further that every person is now aware that when party President Mehbooba Mufti was standing firm before the government of India, Bukhari even went up to Nagpur to offer his services as an alternative. “Such action of his sabotaged the agenda of alliance and the negotiations Mehbooba Mufti was having with the government of India, demanding implementation of specific points in the agenda of alliance as a precondition for taking over as the Chief Minister of the state,” Veeri said.
The PDP veteran added that even when the government headed by Mehbooba Mufti was formed in April 2016, a clear signal was given to Bukhari as he was dropped from the cabinet. It was later, according to Veeri, on assurances of good conduct from Bukhari that his position was restored.
He said that the ousted leader had no problem with the party till the government was in place and he begun inventing issues soon after the dissolution of assembly.
“Till the dissolution, Bukhari had the hopes of getting the government back. Though, till then, he was behaving like a party man but his one foot was in PDP and his soul and spirit were with all other parties except PDP. He was in contact with the outlaws and even made hectic efforts to instigate rebellion within the party,” Veeri said, adding that soon after dissolution of assembly, Bukhari saw only one way of finishing the PDP and that was by taking over as president and he openly told some party leaders that he wants to take over as a prize for him to stay in the party.
“He had a one point agenda and that was to take over the party and sell it out for promoting his political and other interests. Now exposed, he is openly declaring his ambitions in public,” Veeri said.
He added that people of the state know Mehbooba Mufti as a person with “selfless courage and a desire to ensure betterment in peoples’ lives.”
“It is not Mehbooba Mufti who needs PDP. It is actually the PDP which needs the person of her stature. Her command and sincerity in work is already being praised by one and all, not only in JK but across the country. She has battled against various forces very bravely and the impression she has left on the minds of people is that she is actuated by high sense of fairness and impartiality. Every person associated with the PDP is proud of her leadership and is hopeful that she will lead the people of the state to their permanent prosperity,” said Veeri.

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Dy Mayor assaulted during SMC’s councilors session

Global News Service

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Srinagar, Jan 21: Deputy Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Sheikh Imran was Monday injured when “two corporators” allegedly assaulted him during the councilor session of the corporation.

He was shifted to police hospital for immediate treatment.

A senior police official confirmed the incident and said that a case has been registered and further action taken up.

 

After being discharged from hospital, Imran addressed a presser alleging that he was attacked by two “RSS and BJP-backed corporators”.

He said assault on him was pre-planned by the “BJP-backed mayor” and hoped that police will take appropriate action in the case.

“I will not bow down by such tactics. I will continue to speak against corruption and injustice,” he said, adding that he was attacked for launching a “tirade against BJP and Hindutva campaigns.” Imran said that he was committed to “kicking out” the BJP from Kashmir.

“From the first day, I urged the administration to look into the issue of BJP, RSS sponsored Mayor but they turned deaf ears to my pleas,” he said.

 

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