SC anguished on tardy trial



New Delhi: The Supreme Court has expressed anguish over "unhappy state of affairs" of lower courts which take years in concluding the trial and said the proceedings must be concluded within a reasonable time.

A bench of justices Swatanter Kumar and Madan B Lokur said the governments and the courts must gear up the administrative machinery for quick disposal of cases.

"It is high time that the state and the courts gear up their administrative machinery so that at least a trial for a heinous offence gets concluded within a reasonable period," said the bench while delivering a verdict in a 1983 murder case in which trial went on for 14 long years.

"The investigation took almost four years to complete despite eyewitnesses who knew the appellant. The trial concluded after another 14 years or about 18 years after the murder. This is a rather unhappy state of affairs," the bench said.

In this case, the bench upheld the trial court's verdict awarding life imprisonment to the convict.

"The murder was committed on the intervening night of October 8-9, 1983. A charge sheet was filed sometime in 1987 and the trial court delivered its judgement on June 29, 2001. These time gaps are telling," the bench added while expressing anguish over the delay in conclusion of trial.

PTI