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Speedy trial is the right of the accused who cannot be kept in custody for an indefinite period: High Court of Delhi

The right to speedy trial is a concomitant of Article 21 of the Constitution of India and it can be presumed that one the facets would also be that the accused cannot be kept in custody indefinitely and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by Justice Subramonium Prasad in the case of NANCY GILL vs. STATE [BAIL APPLN. 2557/2018] on 08.02.2022.

The facts of the case are the Complainant is a jeweller by profession and he has a jewellery showroom which he runs with his two brothers. The Petitioner and her family were the customers of the complainant and they had a relationship with the Complainant which goes back thirty years with the Petitioner and her family regularly purchasing jewellery from the Complainant. The Petitioner stated that she had met Dr. Ajja Binti Kifli, cousin sister of the King of Brunei in U.S.A., who wanted to visit political leaders in India and gift them jewellery.

The Complainant accordingly purchased the gold and diamonds required for the jewellery, and handed over to the Petitioner. The Complainant then visited the house of the Petitioner where the family of the Petitioner allegedly fraudulently told him that the Petitioner had ran away with the jewellery. On the basis of this, the instant FIR was registered.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that he was falsely implicated in the instant case. He argued that the Complainant, with active connivance of the local police instituted this case against the Petitioner. It was submitted that no recovery was made from the Petitioner and that the chargesheet has already been filed, therefore, he seeks bail.

The respondent’s counsel opposed the instant bail application on the grounds that the Petitioner played a crucial role in the commission of the offences alleged in the instant FIR. She further submitted that the investigation is not complete yet and the Petitioner is not cooperating with the investigating officers.

In view of facts and circumstances of the case, Court was of the opinion that the Petitioner cannot be kept endlessly behind bars, therefore, granted custody parole to petitioner to accompany the Investigating Officer so as to satisfy him about the address where the Petitioner intends to reside in case she is granted bail.

The Court observed that “the right to speedy trial is a concomitant of Article 21 of the Constitution of India and it can be presumed that one the facets would also be that the accused cannot be kept in custody indefinitely.”

Click here to read the Judgment

Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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