A bizarre incident recently came to the knowledge of Supreme Court in which a lower court judge in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand put the accused on trial by pronouncing the order framing charges against the accused through a Whatsapp call.
The case involved a former Jharkhand minister Yogendra Sao and his MLA wife Nirmala Devi who are accused in a rioting case of 2016. Both the accused were granted bail last year by the Supreme Court which, however, imposed a condition that the couple should stay in Bhopal and not enter Jharkhand except for attending court proceedings.
The accused in a plea informed the Supreme Court that the trial judge had on April 19, 2018, framed charges against them through a Whatsapp call despite their objections. A bench of Justices S.A Bobde and L.N. Rao
taking note of the submissions said that, “what is happening in Jharkhand? This process cannot be allowed, and we cannot allow administration of justice to be brought into disrepute.” “What kind of a trial is this? Is this a kind of a joke?” the bench asked the counsel appearing for Jharkhand. Hearing the plea filed by both the accused, who have sought transfer of their cases from Hazaribagh to New Delhi, the bench issued a notice to Jharkhand and asked the State to respond within two weeks.