Delay in disposal of cases and protraction of incarceration of prisoners is violation of Article 21

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Gita Mittal, CJ and Tashi Rabstan, J. allowed an application whereby a suspension of sentence was prayed.

The facts of the case are that the appellant was arrested in early 2005 and by the time the custody certificate was issued; the appellant had undergone actual incarceration of over 13 years and 5 months. It was found that the appellant was convicted under Section 302 RPC and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The High Court relied on the case of Akhtari Bi v. State of M.P., (2001) 4 SCC 355 where it was held that if the appeal is pending for five years and there is no chance of an appeal being heard in near future then in such a case the applicant/appellant should be enlarged on bail.

The application was thus allowed. [Darshan Lal v. State, 2018 SCC OnLine J&K 1011, Order dated 27-12-2018]

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