This is a story of justice delayed, not because of the usual pendency, but because the judges were not even apprised of the case. The babus of the registry not only failed to allot the case to any judge, but 22 years after the crime, and almost that many years after the police had framed the charge sheet and filed a case, even the files are now missing from the Lucknow court.
The story is poignant. Twenty two years ago Ram Babu Gupta had an altercation with his neighbour Raju Singh over a Rs 12,000 deal. The altercation grew nasty, and Singh, with two others, one day came to Gupta’s house and shot him. Gupta’s life was saved somehow and a criminal case was lodged with the Saadatganj police station of Lucknow. The police enquired and found the allegation to be true. The police then lodged a case and filed a charge sheet and the case went to court.
However, by court, it probably meant only to the babus of the registry of the court. The case never reached any courtroom and no judge was aware of it. Not till recently, when the Lucknow High Court took cognisance of the case and stared proceedings.
Gupta, meanwhile, recovered from the near fatal gunshot wounds and started visiting the court regularly, enquiring about his case. It was then that he found that his entire file was missing from the court. It is easy to find who the culprits are, but the procedure towards it wasn’t.
One of the media houses traced Gupta and the story unfolded. Says Gupta: “I am all for justice. I am desperate to get justice. I will see to the end of this, or I will die. When justice is delivered, you will not see Ram Babu Gupta at the court’s doors ever again.”
The mischief at the registry was very probable, a member of the bar council of the court explained. This was surely an insider’s job.
—India Legal Bureau