Kin of Dr Deben Dutta want trial fast-tracked
Aparajita Dutta, the widow of Dr Deben Dutta, and her family members on Sunday said they would meet Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal next week to request that the trial of her husband’s August 31 lynching case be held in a fast track court.
“We were promised that the trial would be held in a fast track court,” Aparajita said.
According to reports, the Assam government on September 4 had decided to set up a fast track court to try the case involving the killing of 73-year-old Dutta. In a letter issued by Gauhati High Court on September 30, the district and sessions judge was directed to fast track the trial and conclude it expeditiously.
“We will talk to Sonowal’s legal advisor/personal assistant and if the request for fast- track court trial is not accepted, a delegation of top leaders will meet the chief minister. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) is yet to announce this formally,” IMA Jorhat secretary Dr Sahdullah told The Telegraph.
Senior advocate Rintu Goswami, a member of the team advocating Dutta’s case, told The Telegraph, “The state government sent a letter to the high court requesting it to try the case directly in the sessions court on a fast-track basis and not in a fast-track court. That was the language used. So, accordingly the high court passed an order and directed the sessions judge to try the case on a fast-track basis. The hearing has already started, the next date being October 23. The state government has not approached the high court for establishment of a fast- track court.”
“The government has to approach the high court for establishment of a fast track court, which it has not done so far. The government had promised that the trial of the case would be held in a fast track court and the establishment cost would be worn by the high court but instead the government sent a letter to the high court saying the trial should be done on a fast track basis. There is a difference between trial on fast-track basis and trial in a fast-track court. So accordingly the high court directed the sessions court to try the case as expeditiously as possible in a regular sessions court. Therefore now a demand has risen for the trial to be held in a fast-track court either by establishing a new court or by appointing a sessions judge or additional session judge as a fast-track judge,” Goswami said.
He said, “Justice will definitely be delayed in a sessions court. In a fast-track court, trial may be held on a day-to-day basis, which is not possible in a regular court. We came to know about non-establishment of the fast-track court only on Saturday when the family and IMA contacted me.”
Dutta was lynched at Teok garden hospital in Jorhat district for allegedly delaying the treatment of a worker, who later died.