The Honourable Supreme Court of India has reappraised law relating to transfer petitions, in transfer petition number 262 of 2018. The judgement titled as Swaati Nirkhi & Ors Vs State (NCT of Delhi ) & Ors was pronounced on March 09, 2021. The petition has been dismissed on the ground that most of the prosecution witnesses are situated in Delhi. The 12 official witnesses are serving in New Delhi. If the Transfer Petition is allowed, the official witnesses will be required to travel from New Delhi to Allahabad(Prayagraj). Their traveling such a long distance would cause hindrance in performing their official duties.
Further, the alleged apprehension of the petitioners and respondent numbers 2 and 3 do not constitute any exceptional circumstance. The Honourable Supreme Court of India also discussed the law laid down by the Honourable Supreme Court in Harita Sunil Parab Vs (NCT of Delhi). In this judgement, the Honourable Supreme Court had held that the apprehension of not getting a fair and impartial enquiry or trial should be reasonable. No universal or hard and fast rule can be prescribed. The transfer petition will always have to be decided on facts of each case. Convenience of a party may be one of the relevant considerations.
This convenience factor cannot override all other considerations such as availability of witnesses exclusively at original place. Their traveling long distance would make it virtually impossible to continue with the trial at the place of transfer. The convenience of the parties does not mean convenience of the petitioner alone. Similarly, the Honourable Apex court noticed the decision of Mrudul M Dample V. CBI. In this decision, the transfer petition involved high traveling expenses of officials and non-official witnesses. It was further noticed that ultimately such factor would cause trial to linger on for years.
After noticing all the above mentioned factors, the Honourable Supreme Court of India dismissed the transfer petition on March 09,2021.