Millennium Post

After 29 years of trial, court grants man probation

In a breather for a man who has undergone 29 years of trial for allegedly possessing secret documents of the Commerce Ministry, a court has released him on probation of a year. While the man has not been awarded a prison term due to the long-drawn trial he underwent, a telling commentary on India’s judicial system, his conduct will be monitored.

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Kumar Bansal, in an order delivered September 7, released Rakesh Kumar Jain, a joint managing director of a Delhi-based company, Jain <g data-gr-id="31">Shudh</g> Vanaspati Limited, on a year's probation and directed him to "maintain peace and good behaviour".
Jain was being tried in an Official Secrets Act case lodged in 1986. Jain now, 57, was 28 when the case was registered.The court observed that the maximum punishment for the offence for which Jain was held guilty is three years' imprisonment or fine or both.

"A period of more than 29 years have passed when this long trial started, coupled with the fact that he has clean antecedents and is not a previous convict," the court said.

"I find it is a fit case where he can be released on probation."

The court directed Jain to maintain peace and good behaviour for one year and asked him to furnish a bond of Rs. 10,000 and a surety of like amount.

The court also directed that if he breached bond he would produce himself before the court to hear his sentence. The probationary officer was also asked to submit a report about his conduct every three months. Jain sought leniency stating that he was regularly appearing before the court since 1986 and, therefore, must be released on probation.

Jain told the court that he has never misused the liberty of bail during the trial and had <g data-gr-id="28">clean</g> antecedent.
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