No acquittal on ground of delay, rules SC

No acquittal on ground of delay, rules SC

An accused of an offence cannot claim acquittal on the ground that there was an inordinate delay in adjudication of the criminal case as a crime is said to be wrong against the state and society, and not an individual, the Supreme Court has held.

A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan made the ruling while dismissing an appeal of a man sentenced to life term for killing five persons in 1978.

Out of seven accused, only the appellant survived to take the matter upto the apex court.

All other accused had died due to natural causes. Accused Shyam Babu’s counsel pleaded that he should be discharged from the case as the Allahabad High Court took 25 years to decide the appeal.

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