Here is a Supreme Court Judgment on a Right To A Speedy Trial
Right to Speedy Trial
“The accused in these cases might have been on bail – but the injustice of pendency of trial for long periods is the uncertainty and the concomitant anxiety suffered by the under-trial. The under-trial is inhibited in making future plans for his life or executing present ones due to the uncertainty which pendency of trial brings. His confidence starts to erode and at the end of the trial, even if he is honourably acquitted, the scars of the long trial remain. He feels condemned despite the acquittal.”
A person could be innocent, yet he may suffer confinement or anxiety or both because judicial system fails to reach a verdict for many years. The delay could be due to tardy investigation by the police. Then courts have built up huge arrears of undecided cases – which coupled with the fact that the number of courts is also quite less – ensures that every case has to wait for years for decision. Rules of procedure under the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act do not help the situation either. Most of these rules, framed by the British for a colonial administration have been retained in their letter as well as spirit, regardless of the altered circumstances.
Article 21 of the Constitution assures that one is not to be deprived of his life or personal liberty without following the due procedure, established by law. Now the point is – if the established procedure or its infrastructural framework itself results in the delay, how and what does the accused do?. One method could be to interpret Article 21 to include right to speedy trial which our Supreme Court has done many times.
The right to a speedy trial includes those with lengthy police investigations:
Here are some relevant judgments:
Also check out this blog: 498A Book Of Knowledge