STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Vs. NARAIN SINGH YADAV
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
Narain Singh Yadav
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(1.)DESPITE service, neither the respondents have filed vakalatnama nor put in appearance.
(2.)THE High Court at Bombay, in its writ jurisdiction under Art.226 of the Constitution, thought it fit to quash the criminal proceedings solely on the ground of lapse of time.
The decision in Abdul Rehman Antulay v. R. S. Nayak, 1992 (1) SCC 225 :1992 SCC (Cri) 93 stands considered in the latter pronouncement of this Court in P.
Ramachandra Rao v. State of Karnataka, 2002 (40 SCC 578 :2002 SCC (Cri) 830
wherein 'Common Cause' A Registered Society v. Union of India, 1996 (4) SCC 33
:1996 SCC (Cri) 589, 'Common Cause' A Registered Society v. Union of India, 1996 (6)
SCC 775 :1997 SCC (Cri) 42, Raj Deo Sharma v. State of Bihar, 1998 (7) SCC 507 :
1998 SCC (Cri) 1692 and Raj Deo Sharma (II) v. State of Bihar, 1999 (7) SCC 604 : 1999 SCC (Cri) 1324 were stated to be no longer good laws. This Court has had the opportunity to lay down certain specific guidelines in the matter of quashing of criminal
complaints. Since the decision in King Emperor v. Khwaja Nazir Ahmad, AIR 1945 PC
18 : (1944) 71 IA 203 and subsequent pronouncement of this Court in State of W.B. v. Swapan Kumar Guha, 1982 (1) SCC 561 : 1982 SCC (Cri) 283 there is one clear
thread of continuity that the prosecution ought not to be quashed unless the same can
be termed to be illegal, perverse or mala fide in nature. We wish to indicate that the writ
jurisdiction is not available for quashing the criminal investigation unless there is error
apparent on the face of the record or the proceedings can be termed to be mala fide in
nature. Mere lapse of time ought not to be permitted to be meant for intervention of the
writ court to quash a proceeding.
(3.)IN P. Ramachandra Rao2 the Constitution Bench of this Court has been rather specific as regards the period of time during which a criminal proceeding shall have to
be completed or closed. In para 32 of the judgment in P. Ramachandra Rao2 this Court
observed: (SCC p. 604)
"32. Secondly, though we are deleting the directions made respectively by two - and three - Judge Benches of this Court in the cases under reference, for reasons which we have already stated, we should not, even for a moment, be considered as having made a departure from the law as to speedy trial and speedy conclusion of criminal proceedings of whatever nature and at whichever stage before any authority or the court. It is the constitutional obligation of the State to dispense speedy justice, more so in the field of criminal law, and paucity of funds or resources is no defence to denial of right to justice emanating from Art.21, Art.19 and Art.14 and the Preamble of the Constitution as also from the directive principles of State policy. It is high time that the Union of India and the various States realise their constitutional obligation and do something concrete in the direction of strengthening the justice - delivery system. We need to remind all concerned of what was said by this Court in Hussainara Khatoon (IV) v. Home Secy., State of Bihar, 1980 (1) SCC 98 : 1980 SCC (Cri) 4010 : 2002 (7) SCC 6 : 2002 SCC (Cri) 1542 : JT 2002 (6) SC 242: The State cannot be permitted to deny the constitutional right of speedy trial to the accused on the ground that the State has no adequate financial resources to incur the necessary expenditure needed for improving the administrative and judicial apparatus with a view to ensuring speedy trial. The State may have its financial constraints and its priorities in expenditure, but, 'the law does not permit any Government to deprive its citizens of constitutional rights on a plea of poverty', or administrative inability."
We record our concurrence with the observations of this Court not only by reason of its
binding nature but by reason of its reasonings available from the judgment.
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