Delhi High Court: Speedy Justice is Fundamental Right enshrined under ambit of Article 21

Speedy Trial Clock Watch Gavel Law Insider

Nishka Srinivas Veluvali

Published On: February 10, 2022 at 17:03 IST

On 8th February 2022, the Delhi High Court held that, “Speedy Justice is a Fundamental Right enshrined under the ambit of Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the same needs to be given effect by this Court in letter and in spirit, else it will remain as a dead letter of Law”.

Justice Chandra Dhari Singh observed this ruling while awarding Bail Order to the Accused who was in Prison for more than 4 years, wherein Charges were filed under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.

The Bail Application was filed by the Accused Mahesh who was found to be possessing 20 grams of Ecstasy (commercial quantity).

The High Court however, focused on the fact that till date, out of 14 Witnesses only 2 Witnesses have been interrogated and there is no such possibility of Trial being conducted in the near future.

The Court thus Ordered, “The pending Trial cannot confine the Applicant for an indefinite period. Therefore, this Court must step in to ensure that speedy Justice is done and Injustice is not caused to the Undertrial Applicant”.

The Applicant had denied all Allegations put against him, stating that they were false and manipulated.

Kusum Dhalla, Assistant Public Prosecutor appearing for the State opposed the Bail Application stating that the “contraband” recovered from the Applicant was of commercial quantity and also the CDR analysis of the mobile handsets also confirm that the proximity of both the Accused was close enough to the place of delivery.

The Court however, stated that the Bail as per the Section 37 of the NDPS Act cannot be awarded for the Offences consisting of the commercial quantity until the “two fold” conditions are fulfilled:

First, the submission of the Public Prosecutor and Second, satisfaction of the Court that the Accused is not guilty and is not likely to commit any of such Offence in the future.

In the current Case, the Court noted that none of the submissions indicate towards the previous Criminal records of the Applicant and the main Accused on whose statement the Applicant was arraigned was already granted Bail.

Thus, the Court opined that the Application of the Applicant was justified on the grounds of equality (parity).

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