In one sense, justice entails providing prompt and low-cost remedies to people who come to the court with legal issues. Delays in delivering justice have been construed as a denial of justice. When the preamble of the Indian Constitution mentions justice in all of its aspects – social, economic, and political – it expresses the yearning and goal of humanity for justice.
The principle of natural justice states that “justice should not only be done but it should be seen to have been done,” implying that people who receive justice must believe it has been done in their favor. Delay thwarts not only equity but also justice, and when it comes to the criminal justice system, it thwarts justice even more.
As the defender of people’s fundamental rights, the Supreme Court of India has broad obligations and powers to ensure a fast trial for the accused, and as such, in Hussainara Khatoon Vs. State of Bihar, took an activist approach. It noted that it followed the dynamic reading of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution in Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India.
There is no question that a quick trial, by which we mean a trial that is properly expedited, is an inherent and necessary aspect of the fundamental right to life and liberty guaranteed by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Following the landmark verdict in Maneka Gandhi’s case, the entire human rights jurisprudence has been the outcome of a most remarkable and reasonable evolution of the law.
The formation of this new jurisprudence by the judiciary is the outcome of the case-by-case analysis. In the sphere of criminal law, the right to a speedy trial is the most essential basic human right. It has been developed by the judiciary through a process of creative interpretation. Despite the fact that speedy trial is not a clearly enumerated fundamental right in the United States of America’s Constitution (U.S.A.) The notion of the quick trial was first proposed in Maneka Gandhi’s case, nourished in Hoskot’s case, and ushered in with a judicial bang in Hussainara’s case.
In terms of the quick trial at the national level, there is evidence of speedy trial in the Ancient, Medieval, and Mughal periods, which expanded progressively and today occupy the position of fundamental rights.
Even though justice is supposed to be “simple, quick, cheap, effective, and significant,” Indians find it difficult to obtain, and one of the major reasons is the delay in the administration of justice. Many cases in India take up to ten years to resolve, and trials typically take longer than the statutory six months or two years, resulting in significant delays. According to published data, the number of criminal cases pending in subordinate courts in 2008 was 2.5 crore. According to reports, the high courts are now dealing with over 34 lakh cases.
Those who have been harmed physically, mentally, or financially turn to the courts in the hopes of redressing their concerns. They avoid taking the law into their own hands because they think that justice will be served by the courts at some point. As a result, the justice delivery system has a responsibility to provide timely and affordable justice to its customers without compromising the quality of justice or the elements of fairness, equality, and impartiality.
The judiciary, the legal profession, and the government must all take responsibility for this terrible development in the world’s largest democracy’s otherwise unblemished judicial record. The most serious flaw in India’s judicial system is the time it takes to resolve cases.
B.A.LLB 5th Year
Bharati Vidyapeeth, New Law College, Pune