State of Kerala v. Rasheed - Supreme Court Important Judgment
State of Kerala v. Rasheed - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2018 -
On 30th October, 2018, in the case of State of Kerala v. Rasheed [Criminal Appeal No. 1321 of 2018], it was held that while deciding an application under Section 231(2) Cr.P.C. [which inter alia confers discretion on the Judge to defer cross-examination of any witness], “a balance must be struck between the rights of the accused, and the prerogative of the prosecution to lead evidence.”
The Supreme Court observed that “there cannot be a straitjacket formula providing for the grounds on which judicial discretion under Section 231(2) of the Cr.P.C. can be exercised. The exercise of discretion has to take place on a case-tocase basis. The guiding principle for a Judge under Section 231(2) of the Cr.P.C. is to ascertain whether prejudice would be caused to the party seeking deferral, if the application is dismissed.”
Illustrative factors were listed out by the Supreme Court “for guiding the exercise of discretion by a Judge under Section 231(2) Cr.P.C.” The Court also listed out “practice guidelines” to be “followed by trial courts in the conduct of a criminal trial, as far as possible”.