Accused persons also have right to speedy trial: Allahabad HC

Team SoOLEGAL 26 Sep 2022 5:20pm

Accused persons also have right to speedy trial: Allahabad HC

New Delhi: The Allahabad High Court recently observed, while quashing a 24-year-old criminal case against certain individuals, that speedy trial is a right not only of the complainant but also of the accused.

Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery expressed remorse that unnecessary and baseless criminal proceedings had been pending for approximately 24 years, and had only reached the stage of discharge application.

"Since this Court has quashed the proceedings but after 24 years, therefore, the suffering of accused persons/ applicants cannot be compensated. Speedy trial is a right not only of complainant but accused persons also. There is no explanation why the proceedings are reached only upto the stage of discharge application after a lapse of more than two decades," the Court stated.

The Court added that a speedy trial is an essential component of the fundamental right to life and liberty enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution.

The Court was hearing a case in which a First Information Report was filed in 1999 against the accused for offences under Section 420, Section 467, and Section 468 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On November 11, 2000, the investigation charge sheet was filed, and cognizance was also taken.

The applicants later filed a discharge application on December 23, 2021, which was denied by the lower court in an order dated March 9, 2022.

The High Court overturned the lower court's decision, stating that it was clear that the criminal proceedings initiated against the applicants were deceptive.

The Court stated that the proceedings were maliciously instituted with the intent of exacting vengeance on the applicants to spite them due to a private and personal grudge.

The Court also noted that, despite the passage of 24 years, no explanation was provided as to why the proceedings had only progressed to the stage of discharge application.

As a result, it directed the trial courts to make every effort to conclude all criminal proceedings as quickly as possible.

"It appears that due to one or other reasons the directions are not followed in letter and spirit. Therefore, the trial courts are directed to undertake endeavour that every criminal proceeding shall be concluded expeditiously, as speedy trial is a right of both complainant and accused persons," the Court stated.

Tagged: Accused persons  
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