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Speedy Trial

By Dr. Y.Srinivasa Rao, Judge.

Speedy trial, fair trial and retrial — “Speedy trial” and “fair trial” to a person accused of a crime are integral parts of Article 21 of Constitution of India. The right to speedy trial is in its very nature relative. It depends upon diverse circumstances. The factors concerning the accused’s right to speedy trial have to be weighed vis-à-vis the impact of the crime on society and the confidence of the people in judicial system. Speedy trial secures rights to an accused but it does not preclude the rights of public justice. A de novo trial or retrial of the accused should be ordered by the appellate court in exceptional and rare cases and only when in the opinion of the appellate court such course becomes indispensable to avert failure of justice, Mohd. Hussain v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi), (2012) 3 SCC (Cri) 1139.

Speedy trial is the essence of criminal justice and there can be no doubt that delay in trial by itself constitutes denial of justice. In the United States, speedy trial is one of the constitutionally guaranteed rights, Hussainara Khatoon (1) v. State of Bihar, 1980 SCC (Cri) 23.

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