Case Study- Hussainara Khatoon V. State of Bihar, AIR 1979 SC 1377

Jun 17th, 2015
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The case dealt, inter alia, with the rights of the under trial prisoners on habeas corpus petitions which disclosed a shocking state of affairs in regard to administration of justice in the State of Bihar. An alarmingly large number of men and women, children including, were behind prison bars for years awaiting trial in courts of law.

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Case Study- Hussainara Khatoon V. State of Bihar, AIR 1979 SC 1377 Hussainara Khatoon v. State ofBihar, AIR 1979 SC 1377 Source- http://jurisonline.in/?p=22079 Facts: The case dealt,inter alia, with the rights of the under trial prisoners onhabeas corpuspetitions which disclosed a shocking state of affairs in regard to administration of justice in the State of Bihar. An alarmingly large number of men and women, children including, were behind prison bars for years awaiting trial in courts of law. The offences with which some of them were charged were trivial, which even if proved, would not warrant punishment for more than a few months, perhaps a year or two, and yet they remained in jail, deprived of their freedom, for periods ranging from three to ten years without even as much as their trial having commenced. The Court ordered immediate release of these under trials many of whom werekept in jail without trial or even without a chargeRuling: Fairness under Article 21 is impaired where procedural law does not provide speedy trial of accused; does not provide for his pre-trial release on bail on his personal bond, when he is indigent and there is no substantial risk of his absconding; if an under-trial prisoner is kept in jail for a period longer than the maximum term of imprisonment which could have been awarded on his conviction and if he is not offered free legal aid, where he is too poor to engage a lawyer, provided the lawyer engaged by the State is

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