Miss Groves was killed on a houseboat in Kashmir in 2013. Dutchman Richard de Wit denies murdering her.
The trial, which began in the summer of 2013, has been plagued by delays and this year just one of the 46 witnesses listed by the prosecution was able to complete their evidence. In 2019, there were 30 scheduled hearings but no progress was made in 26 of the sittings.
The 176th scheduled hearing was a familiar tale of no progress being made – this time because the judge was unable to attend.
Mr de Wit was not brought to court because of a lack of security guards, while a witness who had turned up was unable to complete giving evidence.
Miss Groves’ father, Vic, said: ‘With the next hearing scheduled for mid-January due to the annual two-week shut-down of the court system in Kashmir, today’s hearing ended another frustrating and disappointing year in the history of this trial.
‘The quality of the official court papers – sometimes issued in English but recently issued in Urdu – is woeful.
‘We are no nearer knowing what happened on that dreadful night back in April 2013, or who was responsible for it.
‘Since it started six-and-a-half years ago, in June 2013, the State of Jammu & Kashmir v Richard de Wit has been blighted by a combination of incompetence by the legal authorities (in Kashmir and in Delhi) and by a disproportionate level of bad luck. No one could have predicted the diverse and sometimes bizarre reasons why
the trial was not completed a long time ago.
He added: ‘Kate and I will never give up our fight for justice for Sarah. For this we rely heavily on third-party support, some of which needs to step up to the plate more than in recent times.
‘We sincerely hope that 2020 will move us in that direction more successfully than has hitherto been the case, but we fear without upsetting a few people along the way, this will not be the case.’