Speedy trials for Administration of Justice - Akshat Aggarwal
Updated: Nov 29, 2020
As we know that while living in the society conflicts takes place between people. In such circumstances aggrieved party knocks the doors of the court for justice. But during the Jail visits and court visits, I observed that due to many reasons speedy justice is not delivered to the parties. In such circumstances Justice will lose its impact. I think without the fair and speedy trial there will be no appropriate administration of justice. That is why I choose this topic. Delayed proceedings are biggest hindrance in the path of administration of justice. It causes many problems such as lack of deterrence; innocent suffers more, causes unfair harassment to them and hardens their minds and so on. In Indian law some enactments are enumerated Article 21 of Indian Constitution includes speedy trial Sections 482 and 483 ensured to speedy trials courts of law also pronounced some judgments Husainnara khatoon v. state of Bihar, Kartar Singh v. state of Punjab, Raj Deo Sharma v. state of Bihar, P. Rao Chandra v. state of Maharashtra, etc in favor of speedy trial. But due to inappropriate system and corrupt persons implementation is not that much effective. By researching I found that system of the countries like U.S.A., Canada, Europe, Philippines is more effective in this matter. We can also make our procedural and evidence laws strict. I reckon that only speedy trials can achieve the purpose of administration of justice in its real sense. It can set an example for the criminal minded people and lessen the harassment of the innocent persons. It will lead faith in the mind of society for the law. Whatever the matter it is, trials must be speedy.
It is the principle of natural justice that justice should not only be done but must be seen to done. It would be possible only then, when justice is served immediately to the society, speedy justice is fundamental right in Indian Constitution and Universal right on International sphere also. But questions arises what is the reality of society? Is speedy justice truely exists in our society. After court visits and jail visits I can say there are many cases which remains pending for long time. Slow proceedings are threat to right to speedy trials. So it is the matter which needs attention by the system. During the trial visits I realized in the prisons, under trial prisoners are more than the convicted prisoners. In the May, I went to central Jail Patiala, I observed in the female barracks that, under trial prisoners were 64 but convicted prisoners were 27. Same thing I observed in the District Jail Nabha and Maximum Society Jail Nabha. When I communicate with some prisoners they told me that they are in the jail from the long time and proceedings in the court are still going on. it is unjustified as per the law and morality.
As we already discussed even the speedy trial is fundamental right in Indian Constitution under Article 21 but still there are number of pending cases in India. In the economic times data related with pending cases was published. According to that data more than 43 Lakh cases are pending in the High Courts of India. In the Supreme Court around 6000 cases are pending. There are 2.7 Crore cases are pending before District Courts and Sub Ordinate courts.
In the news paper I read an article, in the Times of India, it was related with hue and cry for speedy justice, where family members of victim are roaming here and there. That single article contained many cases in itself in which victims and their kin are seeking fast track execution. Cases were related with the serious matters such as rape, murder, sexual assault of nine month old girl, kidnapping and so on. Activist and member of state legal cell authority, Zoya Mahaveen said that such type of cases are giving chances to accused persons to escape by the punishment , she added in the past there are more than 1400 convicts, who were awarded death sentence in different cases by the courts, but execution was done only in 5 cases. So we can see the infringement of Article 21 on the daily basis.
Problems caused due to slow proceedings
It is the purpose of law to maintain peace in the society due to delayed proceedings. No one will have faith in the law, it can cause lack of deterrence, wrongdoer or criminal minded people will not feel any type of fear while violating the law. On the flip side innocent persons suffers more. Some under trial prisoners are not accused actually. Sometimes they got arrested for the fake charges. It causes unfair mental agony to them without any reason. It can also harden their mind like criminal minded persons. During jail visits I observed that under trials prisoners are more in the comparison of convicted prisoners. It also causes over crowd in the prisons. During the longer period of court proceedings real offender gets more time to create false evidence for the selfish motive, so they can escape by the punishment.
Hindrances in the path of Speedy trials
There are many reasons which causes delay in the court proceedings such as lack of Investigation, Discretionary powers of the judges, less number of judges, inappropriate court system, delay by the counsels and so on. Not only common cases but there are many highlighted cases which are pending in the courts due to lack of investigation. Supreme Court in Unnao case emphasized on speedy trial. Apex court said that speedy trial and fair trial are equally important. Survivor and prosecutor (lawyer) both are injured and their statements not recorded, slow investigation system is the reason of delay in this case.
Law and Judgments in India
In Indian Constitution speedy trial is included in the Article 21, Right to life and liberty. In the Criminal procedure code there are sections such as Section 482 and 483, which are related with concept. Section 482 prevents abuse of powers and 483 is related with speedy disposal of the cases. In India some judgements are also pronounced time to time to ensure the speedy justice. In these cases court gave guidelines that longer conviction of those prisoners who are under trial is unfair for them and violation of human rights. Unreasonable delay infringe our fundamental right. In the cases of Hussainara Khatoon v. State of Bihar, Abdul Rehman Antolay v. R.S. Nayak, Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab and Moses Wilson v. Kasturba and so on.
Law commission made reports time to time. In 14th and 77th reports it was recommended that there should be quick justice. In the report it is suggested that case should be disposed within 6 months.
As we know that rape cases in Delhi are very common. There is a commission which is committee of eminent jurists to suggest amendments to criminal law. In that committee justice verma suggested that there should be amendments in the law to promote the speedy disposal of the cases.
National commission for women emphasized on speedy trial for many cases. They discussed many cases. In these cases accused were arrested without unreasonable delay. Four accused of gang rape had been arrested on May 05 related with the case of Sardho Village minor girl who was not only raped, video of that girl was also uploaded on the social media by those accused. Another incident was of Bhagalpur, where head women for National Commission for Women, Chandarmukhi Devi went there. In that case women's rape was committed by the close relatives and after that she set on fire. He was arrested by the same day.
Speedy Justice in other countries
By researching I found that court cases are executed in speedy manner in other countries. In U.S.A. by the 6th amendment of Constitution gave right to speedy trial and public trial by an impartial jury to the defendants.
In Canada Sec 11(b) gave rights to the citizens for the speedy trial within reasonable time.
Phillipian's court system is considered one of the speediest justice system in the world. There is a specific Act in which it is mentioned that proceedings such as judicial, quasi judicial and administrative, must be in fast.
In Europe speedy justice is enforced by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human rights.
In India court proceedings are slow. To overcome this problem we can take effective steps like
· There should be proper check on the discretionary powers of the judges.
· Delay should not accepted by the counsels. Procedural law and evidence law should be strict on effect like other countries like Canada, U.S.A., Europe, Philippines.
· Court system should be appropriate.
· More Judges should be appointed.
· Special courts should be established.
· ADR methods should be used for the amicable and speedy settlement.
· Time limit not mentioned in any law. For the Fast Track execution there should be reasonable time limit.
· Speedy trial is not described in any law neither in Indian constitution nor in any other Act. So there should be any specific law regarding speedy trial.
Martin Luther rightly said that "Justice delayed is justice denied", which emphasized on the importance of speedy trial. Speedy justice is right of every individual. By enforcing this right court system would be more appropriate and adequate. It can also deter the society more effectively.
 Article 21of India Constitution (Protection of life and liberty)  Pre-legislative Research, December 21,2012  Times of India August 11,2019, hyderabad  India Today, September 3,2019, New Delhi  Criminal Procedure Code 1973  1979 AIR 1360, 1980 SCC  1994 SCC (3) 56G  1988 AIR 1531, 1988 SCR  AIR 2008 SC 379  Ahmad Siddique's Case  Pre litigative Research  Times of India June 14,2019  Canadian Charter of Rights and freedom  Republic Act No. 8493