April 20, 2024
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A speedy trial is an essential part of due process as well as fairness in the discipline of criminal justice. The right to a speedy trial is a crucial element of numerous legal systems throughout the globe. It safeguards against prolonged detention without a trial or charge, ensuring that justice not only gets carried out but also seems to be performed in an efficient manner.

But in actuality, there often exist obstacles and deviations from this fundamental right, that throw into uncertainty its effectiveness and implementation.

speedy trial definition

  • The accused needs to be brought to trial or discharged within a reasonable time frame, according to the rapid trial promise.
  • It is illegal for the government to imprison someone without the right to trial for an endless period of time.
  • The precise definition of a “reasonable” timeline is up for discussion, disagreement, and law. There’s more to what is reasonable than merely a hard-and-fast time limit beyond which anything is deemed ridiculous.

Right to a Speedy Trial

  • When a defendant is tried for their claimed offenses in a timely manner, it is referred to as a speedy trial.
  • The majority of states have regulations dictating how long after law enforcement charges a criminal suspect before a trial may begin. The question of whether a trial proceeds quickly enough frequently hinges on the specifics of the case and the causes of any delays.
  • A court may dismiss the case entirely if it finds that the defendant was unfairly prejudiced by the unjustifiable wait between the arrest and trial.
  • Generally, a defendant’s request to have a case dismissed does not fall under their right to a speedy trial. Rather, they just request that a judge take into account their constitutional entitlement to a speedy delivery of justice.

constitutional right to a speedy trial

  • While not explicitly mentioned as a fundamental right in the Indian Constitution, the right to speedy trial in india is implied by the provisions of Article 21.
  • According to Article 21, everyone has the fundamental right to remain free and unaffected by the taking of their life, provided that action is conducted in accordance with the law. The procedure must also be just, fair, and reasonable.

speedy trial amendment due to Delay

  • The trial’s delay could be caused by a variety of circumstances. The most favoured among them are:
  • In reference to elements of the legal system such as the backlog of cases, the court’s recess, the proportion of judges, and the judiciary’s independence.
  • Adjournments, proffering lengthy and intricate arguments in an attempt to persuade clients, and inadequate case preparation are among the behaviours of counsel.
  • On the part of the defendant, like fleeing or acting erratically, etc.

speedy trial case law

  • In the case of State of West Bengal v Anwar Ali Sarkar, a seven-judge Supreme Court bench ruled that the requirement for a speedy trial is too nebulous and unclear to serve as the foundation for a legitimate and reasonable classification. It is excessively ambiguous because there isn’t really a test that can be used to determine it. Since it is not based on any traits that are unique to individuals or situations that must follow the special procedure outlined by the Act, it is not a categorization in the true sense of the word.
  • In the case of Madhu Mehta v Union of India, according to the Supreme Court, Article 21 is pertinent at every step. Although it might not be a basic right, a speedy trial in criminal matters is implied by Article 21’s broad provisions. A person’s fundamental right to life and personal liberty includes the right to a speedy trial.

right for a speedy trial: Possible Solutions

  • Arbitration needs to be used whenever feasible, and it ought to be mandated in minor and trivial circumstances. The courts will save a great deal of time.
  • To speed up the resolution of issues at the lowest levels, Lok Adalats were set up. It is necessary to modify the adjournment system so that it is restricted and to penalize those who request an adjournment on the spurious reasons.

The right of the accused is guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution. Everyone who is impacted will benefit if the matter is settled swiftly and justice is done. A legal proverb goes, “Justice delayed is justice denied,” meaning that if a party seeking justice is allowed to pursue legal recourse but such recourse is not granted promptly, it effectively amounts to having no recourse at all.

Right to a Speedy Trial FAQs

  1. Who helps to conduct a speedy trial?

The criminal courts will use the authority granted by Sections 309, 311, and 258 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to carry out the Right to a Speedy Trial.

  • Why do trials need to be speedy?
  • avoiding harsh pretrial detention;
  • reducing the accused’s fear and anxiety
  • Which of the following is the source of right to speedy trial?

Through its rulings, the Apex Courts established that a speedy trial is an unalienable right under Article 21 of the Constitution, meaning that no one may be deprived of their life or liberty without following the “fair,” “reasonable,” and “just” legal process.

  • What is speedy trial of Offence?

The demand of a “speedy trial” in jurisdictions with robust legal systems compels prosecutors to meticulously construct cases within a reasonable timeframe that is commensurate with the intricacy and severity of the crimes of which defendants are charged.

  • What is speedy trial in civil procedure?

According to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 1979 case Hussainara Khatoon & Ors. v. Home Secretary, State of Bihar, the right to a speedy trial is recognized as a basic right protected by the Indian Constitution and is intimately linked to the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21.

  • Is the right to speedy investigation a fundamental right?

The right to a speedy trial is granted to the petitioner by the implied fairness of Article 21. Under Article 21, the right to a prompt trial includes all phases of the inquiry, trial, and investigation. A probe into a citizen should not be allowed to continue indefinitely.

  • Is speedy trial the right of accused?

Prolonged hold-up in the trials and appeals that follow in criminal cases, even when the accused has the right to request bail and has done so without fault. One of the essential rights protected by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution is the right to a speedy trial.

  • What are the grounds for speedy trial?

The basic tenet of a speedy trial is that victims should receive justice as soon as the legal system is able to offer it and that no innocent person, or suspect, should be subjected to unjustified harassment by the judicial system for an extended period of time.

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