Decided on April 28,1999

Mohd Amin Andarbi Appellant
STATE OF J AND K Respondents


- (1.) Deprivation of life or liberty otherwise, than in accordance with some procedure of law which is "reasonable, fair and just" is forbidden by Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Obviously the procedure prescribed by law for depriving a person of his liberty cannot be reasonable, fair and just unless that procedure ensures the speedy trial for the determination of the guilt of that person.
(2.) The Apex Court held in Hussain Ara, 1979 AIR(SC) 1360:- "No procedure which does not ensure a reasonable quick trial can be regarded 'reasonable, fair or just', and it would fall foul of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. There can therefore be no doubt that speedy trial, and by speedy trial we mean reasonably expeditious trial, is an essential part of the fundamental right of life and liberty enshrined in Article 21".
(3.) It needs hardly to be emphasized that delay in trial by itself constitutes denial of justice. While the speedy trial is an implied component of fair trial the converse is not necessarily true. The delay in trial is not necessarily an unfair trial. The delay may be occasioned by the tactic or the conduct of the accused himself. While considering the fact of delayed trial the factothers to be kept in mind are:- 1. whether the accused is responsible for the delay. 2. whether he is prejudiced by such delay in any manner. Of-course in some cases the delay may itself amount to prejudice. The nature of the offence with which the accused is charged is of-course a relevant consideration to determine the fall out of the delayed trial (AIR 1992 SC 1701), but the right to speedy trial applies not only to major crimes but to minor offence (s) as well. It takes in its fold not only the proceedings in the court but also the proceedings of police investigation.;

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