Jharkhand High Court Seeks Report On Ex-Minister's Trial Through WhatsApp

The Supreme Court bench issued notice to Jharkhand on the plea by both the accused and asked the state to respond to it within two weeks.

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Jharkhand High Court Seeks Report On Ex-Minister's Trial Through WhatsApp

Charges were framed through a WhatsApp call for former minister Yogendra Sao

Ranchi: 

The Jharkhand High Court has sought a report from a Hazaribagh court in connection with framing of charges against a former state minister through a WhatsApp call that had invited the wrath of the Supreme Court.

Registrar General of the high court Ambujnath said that zonal judge Amitabh Kumar Gupta on Monday asked the district court judge about the details of the matter.

The step was taken in the wake of the Supreme Court's observations after former minister Yogendra Sao informed it.

Yogendra Sao had approached the top court to shift his case to a special court in Delhi. During the course of hearing the court was informed that he was to be produced before the court through video conferencing.

When video conferencing could not happen charges were framed through a WhatsApp call.

A bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices S A Bobde and L N Rao had taken serious note of the submissions and said, "What is happening in Jharkhand? This process cannot be allowed, and we cannot allow administration of justice to be brought into disrepute."

"We are here on the way of trial being conducted through WhatsApp. This cannot be done. What kind of a trial is this? Is this a kind of joke?" the bench asked the counsel appearing for Jharkhand.

Yogendra Sao and his wife Nirmala Devi, who are accused in a rioting case of 2016, were granted bail last year by the top court which had imposed a condition that they shall stay in Bhopal and not enter Jharkhand except for attending the court proceedings.

Both the accused have now told the top court that the trial judge had on April 19 framed charges against them through a WhatsApp call despite they raising objections to it.

The Supreme Court bench issued notice to Jharkhand on the plea by both the accused and asked the state to respond to it within two weeks.

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