Denial of Fair Trial – Is Injustice to the Accused

Fair Trial is the main object of criminal procedure and such fairness should not be hampered or threatened in any manner. Fair Trial entails the interests of the accused, the victim and of the Society. Thus, fair trial must be accorded to every accused in the spirit of the right to life and personal liberty and the accused must get free and fair, just and reasonable trial on the charge imputed in a criminal case. Any breach or violation of public rights and duties adversely affects the community as a whole and it becomes harmful to the society in general. In all circumstances, the courts have a duty to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice and such duty is to vindicate and uphold the “majesty of the law” and the courts cannot turn a blind eye to vexatious or oppressive conduct that occurs in relation to criminal proceedings.
Denail of a fair trial is as much injustice to the accused as is to the victim and the society. Since the object of the trial is to mete out justice and to convict the guilty and protect the innocent, the trial should be a search for the truth and not a bout over technicalities and must be conducted under such rules as will protect the innocent and punish the guilty. Justice should not only be done but seen to have been done. Therefore, free and fair trial is a sine qua non of Article 21 of the Constitution. Right to get a fair trial is not only a basic fundamental right but a human right also. Therefore, any hindrance in a fair trial could be violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. “No trial can be allowed to prolong indefinitely due to the lethargy of the prosecuting agency or the State Machinery and that is the raison d’etre in prescribing the time frame” for conclusion of the trial.
Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides for the right to a fair trial what is enshrined in Article 21 of our Constitution. Therefore, fair trial is the heart of criminal jurisprudence and, in a way, An important facet of a democratic polity and is governed by the rule of law. Denial of fair trial is crucifixion of human rights. J. Jayalalithaa and others v. State of Karnataka, (2014) 2 SCC 401.

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