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Missing trial court records: HC directs CBI to probe matter

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Allahabad | Updated: September 9, 2016 5:59:47 PM

The Allahabad High Court has directed CBI to investigate the "loss" of trial court records reported by the office of the Government Advocate which has resulted in turning down of a number of appeals by the UP government against lower court orders.

The Allahabad High Court has directed CBI to investigate the “loss” of trial court records reported by the office of the Government Advocate which has resulted in turning down of a number of appeals by the UP government against lower court orders.

A division bench comprising justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Shashi Kant remarked “no one is coming forward to take responsibility for the loss of the records.

“The office of the Government Advocate has failed to fix responsibility on any officer or employee….entire episode is a serious blot on the administration of justice,” the bench said.

Lamenting that “a large number of government appeals have been dismissed for want of lower court records”, the court said in its recent order, “We cannot turn a blind eye to such a situation nor can decline to give adequate response to the necessities arising therefrom”, and directed CBI to “investigate the matter regarding the loss of original lower court records of Government Appeals relating to years 1981 to 1992” and “submit its report within four months from the date of receipt of this order”.

The court passed the order in course of hearing on a Government Appeal challenging a 26-year-old order of Sessions Court, Etawah, whereby the accused – Phool Singh and others – had been acquitted in a murder case.

The appeal was admitted by the court in 1992 and since then “despite several opportunities given to the state, it failed to produce the lower court record before this court”.

The court also noted that in 2013, following an order of another bench faced with a similar situation, an FIR was lodged at Civil Lines Police Station, Allahabad, “in the matter of missing of trial court records from the office of Government Advocate and to get the matter investigated through a responsible officer after due consultation with SSP, Allahabad”.

“Since the complicity and functioning of the Office of Government Advocate is involved in the present matter, we do not expect any effective investigation in the matter by the police.Thus, this court in larger public interest transfers the investigation of the entire matter that has been so carried out by the police”, the court said.

“Office of Government Advocate is directed to facilitate, assist and cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation during the probe and make available all necessary papers as required by the said agency”, the court added.

“List this matter on 16.12.2016 showing the name of the learned counsel of the CBI”, the court ordered.

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