Reported By: Amruta Pawar
The Orissa HC in the matter of Prafulla Chandra Mohapatra, Prusty v/s State of Odisha denied relief to the petitioner upholding the decision of the trial court which mandated the accused to be physically present in the court in order to examine him u/sec 329(2) of Cr.P.C.
The single Judge Bench J. Radha Krishna Pattanaik observed that to determine the mental faculty of the accused and whether he is capable of defending himself is necessary & a statutory mandate which needs to be performed by the court & just referring to the Medical papers & certificate by Medical Board an order to discharge or postpone the trial cannot be passed.
The trial court had directed the petitioner to appear in person in the court to be examined by the court for his capacity to defend himself.
ggrieved by this the petitioner approached HC challenging the order of the trial court and argued that since the Medical Board has certified that the petitioner is suffering from dementia & is of Unsound mind there is no need to examine him further by making him appear in the court.
The state on the other hand opposed it by saying that the decision of the trial court was in accordance with the law and law required to determine the accused in person by the court who claims to be of unsound mind to the effect of rendering him incapable of defending himself.
The court observed that the magistrate or the court must examine whether the unsoundness of the accused renders him incapable of defending himself and for doing the same the court shall examine the evidence provided by the prosecution and decide to discharge the accused if no prima facie case is made out against him or postpone the trial if a case is made out against him.
However, the court observed that if the accused suffers from any disability affecting his cognitive capacity the procedure u/sec 329(2) has to be followed & for the same physical presence of the accused ordered by the trial court was justified and thus denied the relief to the petitioner.