Bombay HC: For how many years will people languish in jail without trial

Bombay High Court. File   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

The Bombay High Court on Monday observed, “For how many years without trial, can people languish in jail. Speedy trial is a fundamental right.”

A Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and N.J. Jamadar made the comment with respect to those accused in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence case.

The Bench said, “Charges are not framed in the case, how many witnesses will be examined, how many years will it take.. they are languishing in jail.. for how many years without trial can people languish in jail. Speedy trial is a fundamental right.”

The court was hearing a petition, filed through senior advocate Mihir Desai, seeking a judicial probe into Stan Swamy’s death on July 5. Mr. Desai told the court that he was not looking for the cause of the death, but an inquiry into what happened in jail that ultimately led to his death.

Filing of report

He also sought the filing of a report in court and that the next of kin of Father Frazer Mascarenhas be allowed to participate in the inquiry.

He said, “I want the probe to follow the guidelines issued by the National Human Rights Commission and the report should be filed in the High Court.”

Justice Shinde said, “We have every respect for his work to society. We watched his funeral online and that it was done in a very dignified and gracious manner.”

The matter would be heard on July 23.

Swamy was the last of the 16 to be arrested and ‘falsely’ accused in the Bhima Koregaon case and sent to prison. At 84 years of age and ailing due to Parkinson’s disease, he was the eldest among those arrested and the frailest. He was arrested on October 9 last and shifted to a private hospital from the Taloja Central Jail on May 29 after a directive from the High Court.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 8:00:07 AM |

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