New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has said the
justice delivery system needs overhauling as the poor are
not getting timely justice in higher courts which are kept
occupied with cases involving persons with money or power.
"The whole criminal justice system needs overhauling so
that the constitutional mandate of equality before law is made
meaningful and it should not be the case that higher courts
are kept occupied by the persons with money or power, as is
the case today," the court said.
The court made the remarks while setting aside the
conviction of a poor vegetable vendor who had to spend seven
years in jail due to delay in disposing his appeal in the High
The trial court had awarded seven years jail term to the
vendor for allegedly killing his wife in 2003 and he filed an
appeal in 2004 on which the High Court took six years to pass
In the verdict, Justice S N Dhingra found him innocent
and acquitted him but he had already spent his jail term.
"In this case, the High Court did not find time to hear
the appeals of other two appellants who continued to remain in
jail during trial period as well as appeal period for no crime
of theirs," the court said adding the High Court should fix a
time limit for disposing of such appeals.
"Neither the criminal should be let off by default as
the High Court has no time to hear appeals nor should the
innocents rot in jail by default," the court said.