Appeals in Allahabad high court pending for over 40 years

Team SoOLEGAL 8 Jan 2018 11:23am

Appeals in Allahabad high court pending for over 40 years

The SC consistent ruling that every accused in a criminal case has a fundamental right to a speedy trial has been rendered meaningless by the pendency of criminal appeals for more than 40 years in Allahabad high court.

Crimes committed in the late 1960s or early 1970s and some of the appeals in the Allahabad high court way back in the late 1970s against decisions of trial courts convicting the accused, are still pending. A recent report submitted to the SC by the high court has revealed that as many as 14 criminal appeals filed in 1976 (2), 1977(4) and 1978 (8) are still pending final decisions.

In what can dent the trust of the common people in the efficacy of the justice delivery system, more than 13,600 criminal appeals are pending for more than 30 years in the HC, the biggest in the country with a sanctioned strength of 160 judges. In its report to the bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul on Friday, the HC said one of the main reasons for delay is the almost-50% vacancy in judges posts as the high court has only 84 judges, battling the odds stacked heavily against them.


It was the petition of a murder accused that spurred the SC bench to diagnose and seek to remedy the deep-running malaise of pendency. His counsel, Dushyant Parashar, told the SC that the appeal was filed in 2007 and it is yet to be put up for final hearing even 10 years later. "If the situation so continues in the HC, the appeal may not come up for hearing in the next 10 years," he said, pressing for a solution to the problem even after the SC turned down bail for his client. However, the SC sought to know from Unnao jail superintendent the conduct and behaviour of the convict.

The Supreme court clarified that "the choice of the high court is only in view of the extent of pendency and the frequently expressed concern over the relatively longer disposal time in the adjudication of criminal appeals before it, which (is also) noticeable from contemporaneous records."

Tagged: Supreme Court   criminal cases   Allahabad high court  
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