New Delhi, Aug 5: The Supreme Court has ordered acquittal of a man facing trial for the past 32 years on the charge of being in possession of half a bottle of illicit liquor and directed his immediate release.
A bench of justices H S Bedi and Gyan Sudha Mishra rejected the Uttar Pradesh government's plea that the trial should be conducted afresh if accused Man Singh's plea that he was not properly examined by the Magistrate at the relevant point of time was entertained.
“We are not willing to accept this submission at this belated stage. The incident occurred way back in the year 1979 and the appellant (Singh) has been facing trial or other legal proceedings for almost 32 years now and that too for being in possession of only half a bottle of liquor. We are also told that he has undergone five months and 15 days of the sentence that has been imposed on him.
“We find that the ends of justice require that this appeal should be allowed. We accordingly set aside the orders of the courts below. The appellant is ordered to be acquitted.
He is said to be in custody. He shall be released forthwith if not wanted in connection with any other case, “ the bench said in an order. PTI