Letter to Chief Justice

To,

The Chief Justice Honorable KM Joseph,
Uttarakhand High Court, Nainital.
Sept 29, 2016

Ref: Undertrial Colette Smith in SST No. 12/15.

Honorable Sir, the undersigned/accused, in the Honorable court of NDPS, Dehradun District, is submitting this application and pleading with you to intervene on my behalf. Honorable Sir, I realize that there are thousands of undertrials languishing in Jails in India and I do not expect nor deserve special treatment, but I would like to appraise you of the facts of my trial, because it just might seem outrageous to the interest of Justice. Sir, I have been languishing in Jail for 21 months and my second bail application is pending before the Honorable Justice Dhyaani. The Honorable Justice Alok Singh passed an order, C-482, No. 1466 of 2015 directing the trial court to complete the trial by 18/6/2016. The prosecution’s Chief Witness was summoned since April 23, 2016. The Chief Witness Statement took 7 hearings over 2 months to complete, on 12/8/2016. The first accused (out of 6) to conduct cross examination of PW1 had 4 hearings over 1.5 months and has NOT yet completed the cross. There are 6 accused and at this rate it will take 4 months to complete the cross of PW1 the Honorable Judge of NDPS has issued 2 bailable warrants to the Prosecution’s Chief witness who is the investigating officer of the Narcotics Crime Bureau. It is shocking such actions have to be taken by the court to secure the statement of the prosecution’s own witness. The case is still not progressing as it should due to administrative and procedural delays. The accused are brought to the court from 12:30-2, then a break for lunch and the brought again from 3:30-4:30. After 4 pm, the public prosecutor claims that he cannot work on Wednesdays and Saturdays, further delaying proceedings. Days in court are not spent efficiently when the time spent in court amounts to only 2-3 hours. The prosecution continues to delay the progress of proceedings which is unbecoming of a central government agency. Honorable Sir, it is my human right to have a speedy and fair trial with 6 accused in Jail and the order passed by Alok Singh it is in the interest of Justice to hasten this case, because Justice delayed is Justice denied.

Honorable sir, during the cross examination of the Chief Witness it became evident that the prosecution has withheld vital documents. The Honorable Judge has ordered the prosecution to submit these documents on 2 occasions, but ALL of the documents are yet to be submitted. The omission of exculpatory documents by the prosecution has caused grave harm.

Honorable Sir, the second issue is that I feel as if my bail hearing in the Honorable High Court has not been heard in a fair and unbiased manner. I am merely given further dates. The prosecutor is always requesting more time to file a counter which is ridiculous considering over 25 counters and counter affidavits have been filed and the charge sheet was filed on march 4, 2015, giving the prosecution ample time to fine tune their case. Sir, I pray that you can intervene to ensure that I receive a fair hearing and perhaps shift my case to a Judge who has less of a workload and is able to devote the time to review the facts of the case and decide if I am eligible to be granted bail. Bail will not be any compensation for the wreckage this case has caused in my life and shattered the lives of my family.

Honorable Sir, the third issue is that all court proceedings, transcripts and witness statements are conducted in Hindi I am not given an English version of the proceeds against me, which is in violation of my human rights. Since I am in JAIL, I do NOT have access to a translator.

Sir, I pray that in the interest of Justice you can order the prosecution to speed up the trial in the NDPS Court and dispose of the witnesses within 14 day.  I also pray that you can shift my bail application to a Judge who can devote the time to my bail application and please direct the courts to provide me with transcripts of the court proceedings in English.

Honorable Sir, thank you for spending the time reading my application. I pray that in the interest of Justice you intervene in my case.

 

 

COLETTE SMITH

29/9/2016