Time plays a very significant role in human life and if anything is not carried out in a reasonable time, it creates displeasure and frustration. Similarly if justice is not delivered in a reasonable time, dissatisfaction and frustration are quit natural.
“A magistrate who cannot find time to write a judgment within a reasonable time of hearing arguments ought not to do any judicial work” once said Patna high. court castigating magistrate for undue delay in delivering judgment.
Delay when undue causes distrust. Citizens lose faith in the justice delivery system. People begin to suspect some foul game and thus very purpose of justice is defeated. Therefore it is necessary that justice should be delivered expeditiously. Quick justice saves innocent under trials from unwarranted imprisonment.
Twenty five years ago the apex court had felt the need for delivering early judgment. The honourable court had said “the litigant’s confidence would be shaken if there is excessive delay between hearing and delivery of judgment.”
Now the question arises: what are the reasons responsible for this delay?
in fact delay in justice delivery is due to many reasons. In recent years the conflict within society and family has gone up manifold especially due to advent of nuclear family system. Family related issues are raised in the court and the court is filled with such matters. Filing of frivolous cases in courts is another reason. Heaps. of such cases are tabled for legal settlements. Our judicial process by way of appeals and revision is one of the important reasons for delay. Interrogation and cross-examination also take much time. The existing strength of judge is also inadequate to deal with the pendency of cases. One of the important reasons for delay is adjournment of cases for insufficient reasons. The failures of executive system and thereby the interference of the court in all affairs is also an important reason. But whatever may be the reasons; if justice is not delivered in a reasonable time it is a setback to judicial system because when people give up their hopes, the purpose of judicial system is defeated.
One cannot deny that a great deal of delay is done due to adjournment of cases for insufficient reasons. It is client who tells a counsel to obtain adjournment in case where he has a favourable order from any subordinate courts; I remember the former chief justice of India P. N. Bhagwati once said that judges should strictly adhere to some norms in allowing adjournment. People should be told to stop unnecessary litigation and outside court settlement should be made so that quick justice may be delivered. The govt. should also bring about a drastic change in the prevailing laws by reviewing the present acts. The huge vacancies of judges should also be filled up immediately but quality appointments should be made to deliver best form of justice.
Needless to say that the problem of delayed justice has become so acute that hy half hearted measure is not going to prove any result. Ir:mmediate effective best form of justice.
India is one of the countries in the world to have highest pendency of cases. In order to bring down the number of pending cases in the country, settlement efforts should be made at the beginning of a dispute at the grass root level and taken to the doorsteps of people.
Speedy trial is an inalienable right under Indian Constitution .The supreme court has expressed its view in Maneka Gabdhi case and said that term personal liberty in Article 21 is wide terminology ,it include right to speedy trial. Top court of the country said that said right is in addition to Article 19.
In Hussainara Khatoon v Home Secretary, State of Bihar the Supreme Court has held that right to a speedy trial is a fundamental right which is implict under the Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
Sheela Barsa vs Union of India ,1986 it was held by the supreme court that if an accused is not tried speedly then it is violation of basic human right as well as fundamental right .
A.R.Antuley vs A.R. Nayak ,1992 in this case it was held by the Supreme Court that right to speedy trial is available all the stage of proceedings .