Right to speedy trial is an indispensable extension of right to liberty and right against arbitrary detention

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench of the Delhi High Court comprising of Vinod Goyal, J, directed the trial court to expedite proceedings in a pending criminal case in exercise of it’s inherent powers under Section 482 of the CrPC.

The petitioners had approached the Court aggrieved by an inordinate delay in disposal of a criminal trial arising out of an FIR filed by the first petitioner’s late father for offences under Sections 419, 420, 468 and 471 r/w Section 34  IPC. The petitioners pointed out that out of 36 listed witnesses, the prosecution had not called forward even one. Further, it was stated that the matter had been dragged on for more than 17 years since the FIR. The counsel for the petitioners argued that justice delayed is justice denied.

The Court acknowledged that the right to a speedy trial is an indispensable extension of the right to liberty and right against arbitrary detention. The Counsel argued on the basis of landmark cases of Rattiram v. State of MP, (2012) 4 SCC 516 and Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab, (1994) 3 SCC 569 among others to establish the Supreme Court’s stand on the right to speedy trial.

The Court took careful note of the circumstances, namely, that the trial had not commenced even though the charge-sheet was filed on 17.08.2001. The petition was hence, disposed of with the direction to the ACMM (North), Rohini Court, Delhi, before whom the trial was pending to make all endeavors necessary and at his command to record the prosecution evidence and conduct expeditious trial. The petition was disposed of accordingly. [Bir Singh v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 10919, decided on 18.09.2017]

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