Summary Trials in Indian Context: An Effective Tool to Ensure Fair Trials?
Volume III, Issue III, 2020
Summary trials were introduced with the perspective of having an effective tool to curb long pending criminal trials in the country. A overburdened judiciary has been of concern for the law-makers, judicial officers and executive authorities since long. Justice delayed is justice denied. A criminal trial is often based on the premise of not only ascertaining guilt but also determining the innocence of the parties involved by ensuring that unnecessary hassle and injustice is not done to both of them. Our Criminal Justice system has come up a long way in ensuring a fair mechanism of determining guilt and innocence and also balancing the interest of the accused and victim, but has often been targeted on the ground of on-going battle for justice for decades, which the parties have to undergo causes mental, physical and financial loss in the long run. The Apex Court of the country has read right to speedy and fair trial and accessibility to justice as part and parcel of Article 21 of the Constitution, thereby, creating a strong edifice of justice delivery system in the country. Summary trials were hence, understood as a mechanism to plug-in the loophole of ever continuing criminal trials, but it also raised many questions regarding the friendliness of the adoption of this mechanism with respect to the accused and the victim concerned.
Key phrases: Summary trial, criminal justice system, fair trial, justice delivery system, speedy trial, accessibility to justice, overburdening of cases, long pending trials.