Decide bails in 1 week, trials in petty cases in 6 mths: SC

NEW DELHI: “Timely delivery of justice is a part of human rights,” the Supreme Court today said and fixed deadlines for deciding long-pending criminal cases in high courts and trial courts across the country.

Issuing a slew of directions to all high courts, a bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and U U Lalit said, “Denial of speedy justice is a threat to public confidence in the administration of justice” and the fundamental right to speedy trial “cannot be denied even on the plea of non-availability of financial resources”.

It asked the high courts to issue directions to subordinate courts to decide bail pleas “normally within one week”, besides asking magistrates to conclude trial in petty offences, where undertrials are in jails, within six months.

The sessions courts will have to conclude trials in serious offences within two years, if the accused are in jail, the apex court said, adding strict adherence to the timeline be ensured by making it a part of Annual Confidential Reports of judicial officers. (AGENCIES)



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