Bail to NRI, Counsel can represent for him

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

Crl.MC.No. 2392 of 2008

1. SREEKUMARAN NAIR … Petitioner
Vs
1. STATE OF KERALA … Respondent

For Petitioner :SRI.M.RAJAGOPALAN
NAIR For Respondent : No Appearance

The Hon’ble MR. Justice R.BASANT

Dated :25/06/2008

O R D E R

R. BASANT, J.

Crl.M.C. No. 2392 of 2008
Dated this the 25th day of June, 2008 ORDER

The petitioner faces indictment in a prosecution for the offence punishable under Sec.498A of the IPC. The petitioner has entered appearance. He has been enlarged on bail. His plea has already been recorded. There is no dispute regarding identity. The petitioner is unable to appear in person and take part in the trial. Inasmuch as there is no dispute regarding identity, the petitioner wants the trial to be conducted in his absence with his counsel representing him. He is employed abroad. He has to proceed to his place of employment abroad. He does not want the trial to be held up on that count. He therefore instructed his counsel to file a petition to exempt the petitioner from personal appearance. According to the petitioner, Annexure-I dated 15/5/08 was filed before the learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Trivandrum. But the learned C.J.M. did not pass any orders in the application and did allegedly return the petition to the counsel.

2. I cannot assume that such state of affairs did occur. When a party/counsel files an application, the Magistrate is bound to adopt one of the following courses i.e.: (i) return the application to cure the defects; (ii) dismiss the application in limine; or (iii) dispose of the same on merits. In all the three events, reasons must be shown by the learned Magistrate for return/instant dismissal/disposal on merits.

3. I do not expect any counsel to take back such an application filed in court without any orders. I am, in these circumstances, satisfied that this Crl.M.C. can be dismissed with the observation that the petitioner can file such application afresh (if it has already been once presented and taken back) and claim an order on merits. Needless to say, the learned Magistrate must pass appropriate orders on merits. I find merit in the submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner that ritualistic insistence on personal appearance of the petitioner is not necessary in the facts and circumstances of this case. The learned Magistrate shall consider the petition on merits and pass appropriate orders.

4. This Crl.M.C. is, in these circumstances, dismissed with the above observations.

5. Hand over a copy of this order to the learned counsel for the petitioner.

Sd/-

(R. BASANT, JUDGE)

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