The author of this blog is Pooja D Pawar 3 rd year LLB student at NBT Law College Nashik.

 "Justice delayed is justice denied." This line was written by William Ewart Gladstone (1809 - 1898). He was one of the greatest of English Politicians and also former British Prime Minister.

 Indian constitution and Judiciary
 India is a democratic country. Indian judiciary is the third pillar of democracy others are Legislative, Executives, and Media. Indian judiciary is independent of legislative and executives also it is less corrupt. Indian judiciary while protecting the rights of people has given remarkable judgments and acted partially. Its path-breaking judgments and fearlessness are appreciated by one and all. But one only criticism against it is that it is a very slow process. In India, there is a hierarchy of courts. Supreme court is the highest court and all high courts are subordinate to it.

      The Indian constitution merely does not protects the rights of the victim but also the rights of the accused. Article 21 which talks about Right to life and personal liberty includes the Right to a fair trial in courts supported with Humen rights.  Every accused have the right to defend himself until he is proven to be guilty of that offense.

     India is the second-largest country in the world because of population matters and crimes increasing. Courts trying such cases and examining them to conclude them. Most of the cases are still pending in various courts in the country. This pendency of cases are nothing but denied justice. Law is a way and justice is an abstract. Law is a path to reach justice. There are various steps in this pathway. It includes Courts, Parties, Evidence, Witnesses, and process. This process needs to be followed. Interruption of this process is itself denying justice.

       Justice Delay Is Justice Denied
  "Justice delayed is justice denied" is a legal maxim meaning that if legal redress is available for a party that has suffered some injury, but is not forthcoming in a timely fashion, it is effectively the same as having no redress at all.

     Though, there are various reasons for such delay including some reasonable reasons. The Justice system is a technical system. It works on the process. The court has to follow the process. It includes parties, pleaders, witnesses, examination, evidence and other technical terms. In between seeking justice and deliverance of justice, there are a lot of pre-requisites and formalities of rules and regulations and prescribed procedures governing proceedings of the court time consuming but unavoidable for the purpose.

         Criminal Law And Justice
  In criminal law, there is a maxim " Actus Non-Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea" which means
a person is a guilty of the criminal act only if such acts are accompanied by a criminal intention. Intention matters in criminal activity. Accused is accused until proven guilty. Importance of this
maxim can be described as 100 criminals that can be released but 1 innocent should not be punished. Although this maxim has certain exceptions the gist is the intention or the guilty mind of the accused has to be found.

       Justice Delayed is justice denied can be seen in twofold ways. The first one, the complaint is spending years in court and the victim invested his time and money in it to reach for ultimate justice. And the another side is accused of who is charged for certain offense suffers.

       Two main aspects need to be considered in the context of criminal trials. The first deal with trial process till judgment. The second aspect related to pendency pertains to consequences of delay, it effects under trial prisoners. Undertrial prisoners mean those who have detained in prisons during a period of investigation, inquiry, or trial for the offense accused have committed or suspected to be committed. Criminal law proceeds on the presumption of innocence and accused presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. However, the pendency of criminal trials has a substantive impact on the liberty of accused person and their presumption of innocence, especially if they are put in prison pending trial. In India as per the 'Prison Statistics India Report' released by National Crime Record Bureau 67.2 percent of our total prison population comprise of under trial prisoners. This ultimately needs to be changed for the better administration of justice.

  Reasons Behind Delay In Justice
 Not enough judges: In India judge to population ratio is 10 to 1 million. The population have increased by over 25 crores since 1987. As population increases, crime or matters increase and there is a need for sufficient judges to deal with increasing matters.
To Pursue the Truth: The process of getting justice or giving justice is yet not so easy. Judges have to come into conclusion after examination of documents, parties, and witnesses. A judge has to pursue the Truth behind the evidence presented before him.
Loss of Evidence:  In criminal cases, most of the evidence would have been lost by the time the actual proceedings start and based on the credibility of witnesses and their memory.  Sometimes witnesses get Hostile.
Pre-Trial Delays: It includes delays in the investigation and service of summons.
Delay During Trials: It includes  (a) Provisions for adjournment, (b) Nonattendance of witnesses; (c) Lengthy oral arguments; (d) Absence of lawyers

 Total pending cases India
 As per the data on Supreme Court Website, 58,669 cases are pending in the apex court.
While in across all the high courts, a total of 43,63,260 cases were pending on july 1, according to the National Judicial Data Grid. Among these 18,79,399 are civil cases, while 12,18,499 are criminal cases and 12,65,362 are writ petitions. In District Courts and its Subordinate Courts a total of 3.11 crore cases are pending of which 2,23,05,498 are criminal cases and 88,15,608 pertain to civil matters.

 Case laws (including petitions)

Bhopal gas verdict has found all 8 accused to be guilty. Deadly methyl gas leak from the union carbide plant on December 2nd and 3rd in 1984. It killed thousands. The chairman of Union Carbide Corporation of the US, Mr. Warren Anderson has been declared absconding while one of the accused died during the trial. 25 years of the verdict in the case which killed thousands of peoples in India.

Nirbhaya Gang Rape Case : Out of 6 persons held guilty, one escaped from the clutches of justice owing to the Juvenile Justice laws, one committed suicide in his jail cell, and the death sentence of the remaining four is yet to be executed.

Ayodhya Ram Mandir Case : Around 70 years old dispute at last final judgment was given on 9th of November 2019. The Supreme Court ordered the disputed land to be handed over to a trust to be created by the government of India to build the lord, Ram Temple. The court also ordered the government to give an alternate 5 acres of land in another place to the Sunni Wakf Board for the purpose of building a mosque.

Impact Of Delay in Justice

 Delay deprives the main quality service to the public, people have started losing faith injustice system. People are losing faith in the judiciary. It is mainly because of long delays. It causes mental and physical agony to victims and genuine litigants. Long trials lead to evidence, especially eyewitnesses testimony, being forgotten or lost, which reduces the chance of conviction. Pendency of criminal cases is like a sword hanging over a prison's head, and affects their liberty, free movement and interaction with the society, even if the accused is on bail. For such a case Speedy Trial is the only way to get speedy justice.

     It is an injustice to the victim who suffers and also, an injustice to the accused who also suffers. for example if in a criminal case which is pending before a court victim suffers getting delay in justice and if by varies of the case, any accused who have not committed the offense but have been changed under that offense, released on bail or under trial suffers more than if he could be convicted for such offense.  The main  impact on the victim who suffers from mental agony leads to losing their hope in life and reason to live.

Delay in Justice is not at all Denying the justice
 India is the second-largest populated country in the world. As per population ratio, judges and the court might not sufficient but at the same time the crime rate is also increasing or civil or other matters also increasing. It is so because it is so common and obvious that in such a big and large country everything should be done in a proper way then why not the process of justice.

     As a coin has two sides everything must be looked into two sides.  If "justice delay is justice denied" then "justice hurried is justice buried". Justice is an impartial process and it takes time.  The delayed process of delivering justice is a sign of perfection and transparency.  The very concept of justice delayed suggests that justice was served; it simply was postponed. When justice was served it was still being served which means never denied.


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