Delhi High Court on 4 April 2016 held that keeping a criminal case pending for indefinite period amounts to violation of constitutional rights of the accused recognized under Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution of India.
The ruling was passed by Justice Suresh Kait in Joginder Singh vs State (NCT of Delhi) case.
The court also quashed the first information report (FIR) registered at Mangolpuri police station against Joginder Singh, with the allegations of forgery of documents of a stolen car and the consequential proceedings in the trial court.
Criminal cases against accused were pending since 1998, although nothing material was brought to the notice delaying the process of framing charge against Singh. The FIR was registered for the offences punishable under Sections 468 (forgery for cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of Indian Penal Code.
The court said that the case could not be registered against the accused only on the basis of disclosure statement without any supporting material.
While quashing the FIR, the court referred Supreme Court’s judgment of 2009 case of the Vakil Prasad Singh vs. State of Bihar which was termed as violation of constitutional guarantee of a speedy investigation and trial under Article 21 of the Constitution.
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