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United Nations Human Rights Committee Criticized the Supreme Court And Ordered Immediate Release Of Petitioner



Supreme Court judgment violated the fundamental rights – United Nations Human Rights Committee ordered immediate release of the Petitioner with compensation and criticized the Supreme Court.   

In the case of Dimitry Leonudovich Gridin Vs. Russian Federation 2000 SCC OnLine HRC 31, it is ruled by the 19 Judge Committee of UN Human Rights Council including Justice P. N. Bhagwati from India as under; 

“8.2 With regard to the author's claim that he was denied a fair trial in violation of article 14, paragraph 1, in particular because of the failure by the trial court to control the hostile atmosphere and pressure created by the public in the court room, which made it impossible for defence counsel to properly cross-examine the witnesses and present his defence, the Committee notes that the Supreme Court referred to this issue, but failed to specifically address it when it heard the author's appeal. The Committee considers that the conduct of the trial, as described above, violated the author's right to a fair trial within the meaning of article 14, paragraph 1.

8.3 With regard to the allegation of a violation of the presumption of innocence, including public statements made by high ranking law enforcement officials portraying the author as guilty which were given wide media coverage, the Committee notes that the Supreme Court referred to the issue, but failed to specifically deal with it when it heard the author's appeal. The Committee refers to its General Comment No. 13 on article 14, where it has stated that: “It is, therefore, a duty for all public authorities to refrain from prejudging the outcome of a trial”. In the present case the Committee considers that the authorities failed to exercise the restraint that article 14, paragraph 2, requires of them and that the author's rights were thus violated.

8.4 With regard to the remaining allegations contained in paragraphs 3.4 and 3.7 supra, the Committee notes that the Supreme Court addressed the specific allegations by the author that, the evidence was tampered with, that he was not properly identified by the witnesses and that there were discrepancies between the trial and its records. However, the rejection by the court of these specific allegations did not address the fairness of the trial as a whole and therefore does not affect the Committee's finding that article 14, paragraph 1, of the Covenant was violated.

8.5 With respect to the allegation that the author did not have a lawyer available to him for the first 5 days after he was arrested, the Committee notes that the State party has responded that the author was represented in accordance with the law. It has not, however, refuted the author's claim that he requested a lawyer soon after his detention and that his request was ignored. Neither has it refuted the author's claim that he was interrogated without the benefit of consulting a lawyer after he repeatedly requested such a consultation. The Committee finds that denying the author access to legal counsel after he had requested such access and interrogating him during that time constitutes a violation of the author's rights under article 14, paragraph 3(b). Furthermore, the Committee considers that the fact that the author was unable to consult with his lawyer in private, allegation which has not been refuted by the State party, also constitutes a violation of article 14, paragraph 3(b) of the Covenant.

9. The Human Rights Committee, acting under article 5, paragraph 4, of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is of the view that the facts before it disclose a violation of article 14, paragraphs 2 and 3(b), of the Covenant.

10. In accordance with article 2, paragraph 3(a), of the Covenant, the State party is under an obligation to provide Mr. Gridin with an effective remedy, entailing compensation and his immediate release. The State party is under an obligation to ensure that similar violations do not occur in the future.



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