The Bombay High Court refused to transfer the trial in case of killing of Navi Mumbai builder Sunil Lahoria from one judge to another.
The High Court noted that the current bench had completed a substantial portion of the trial and the petitioner had not shown any glaring circumstances to cause a transfer.
Sandeep Lahoria, in his plea, raised apprehension that the judge was “biased” and was in a “hurry” to wrap up the trial, as a result of which, “procedural and substantive errors” were being committed.
A division bench of Justice SS Shinde and justice Manish Pitale, while rejecting the plea stated that the transfer of a criminal trial from the court of one presiding officer to the other, cannot be a routinely passed order and the apprehension expressed on behalf of the parties, seeking transfer, have to be reasonable and based on sufficient material.
“The endeavour of the proceedings is to ascertain as to who is guilty of the alleged crime and it can neither be an approach giving an impression that there is a bias, either in favour of the he accused or victim.”Neither can a Court be perceived to be accused centric nor can it be perceived to be victim centric in its approach,” the bench added.