Delay in release of convict is a violation under Article 21: Punjab High Court.

The Punjab High Court in Jagjit Singh & Ors v/s State of Punjab (CRM-22778-2022 IN CRM-11339-2022) held that delay in release of the convict, after court orders was a violation under Article 21. The case was presided over by Honourable Mr. Justice Amol Rattan Singh and Honourable Mr. Justice Lalit Batra.


The applicant-appellant in this case was convicted under sections 148, 302, 307, 323 IPC and was sentenced to an imprisonment for life along a fine of ₹25,000/-

The sentence of life imprisonment, under section 302 IPC, stood suspended by the court. An order of release was issued with adequate personal/ surety bonds.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate/ Duty Magistrate failed to act upon the court orders resulting in an inordinate delay of more than three months in the release of the convict.


The Court held that once the convict was suspended of all the charges and a bail was issued by the court, there should be no reason for the delay in action upon the court order by the Chief Judicial Magistrate/Duty Magistrate.

Article 21 is a Fundamental Right enforceable by the Constitution of India to its citizens. It is considered as the soul of the constitution as it preserves an individual’s Right to Life and personal liberty.

The Court held that, an inordinate delay in the release of the convict was a violation of Article 21. A sympathetic approach and bail orders to be undertaken in letter and spirit in order to access of speedier release from trials, needs to be practiced.

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