Supreme Court of India Emphasizes the Right to a Fair Trial, Stresses Adherence to Procedural Justice for the Accused

Landmark Judgment Law Insider (1)

Published on: May 22, 2024 22:43 IST

Court: Supreme Court of India

Case: Rattiram v. State of M.P. 2012

Honourable Supreme Court of India  “Fair Trial” includes fair and proper opportunities allowed by law to the accused to prove innocence and, therefore, adducing evidence in support of the defence is a valuable right and denial of that right means denial of fair trial. It is essential that the rules of procedure designed to ensure justice should be scrupulously followed and the courts should be zealous in seeing that there is no breach of them.

39. The question posed by us fundamentally relates to the non- compliance with such interdict. The crux of the matter is whether it is such a substantial interdict which impinges upon the fate of the trial beyond any redemption or, for that matter it is such an omission or it is such an act that defeats the basic conception of fair trial.

Fundamentally, a fair and impartial trial has a sacrosanct purpose. It has a demonstrable object that the accused should not be prejudiced. A fair trial is required to be conducted in such a manner which would totally ostracise injustice, prejudice, dishonesty and favouritism.

42. It would not be an exaggeration if it is stated that a “fair trial” is the heart of criminal jurisprudence and, in a way, an important facet of a democratic polity that is governed by rule of law. Denial of “fair trial” is crucifixion of human rights. It is ingrained in the concept of due process of law.

While emphasising the principle of “fair trial” and the practice of the same in the course of trial, it is obligatory on the part of the courts to see whether in an individual case or category of cases, because of non-compliance with a certain provision, reversion of judgment of conviction is inevitable or it is dependent on arriving at an indubitable conclusion that substantial injustice has in fact occurred.

Drafted By Abhijit Mishra

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