Report No. 78
3. Disposal of cases
(5) For dealing with the problem of large number of under-trial prisoners implementation of recommendations made in the 77th Report of the Law Commission (delay and arrears in trial courts) is a measure of the first importance1.
(6) Cases in which the accused persons are in jail should be given preference and the target for their disposal should be four months-instead of six months recommended in the 77th Report2.
(7) In order to prevent interested parties from prolonging pendency of cases, a certain amount of strictness is necessary to ensure prompt disposal3.
(8) Trial Magistrates should furnish periodical statements of cases in which the accused are in custody and which are not concluded within the prescribed time.4
(9) In times of some agitation, numerous persons defy law and court arrest, causing a sudden spurt in the number of under-trial prisoners. Most of them would not offer bail. Such persons should be put up for trial soon after their arrest in order to avoid congestion in jails5.
(10) Quite a substantial number of persons who are being proceeded against in security proceedings for keeping peace and for good behaviour are detained in jail as under-trial prisoners because of their inability to furnish the requisite bond. The cases against those persons should be heard with due promptness and despatch. Efforts should be made to conclude these proceedings within 3 months6.
(11) Inordinate delay in the investigation of cases should be avoided. The diversion of police officials concerned with investigation to other duties relating to law and order should be avoided7. It causes delay in investigation, as pointed out in 77th Report.
(12) Investigation of cases should be completed as soon as possible. The law provides that if an investigation is not completed within the specified period, the accused should be released on bail, thus highlighting the need for prompt investiga tion.8
(13) Where the accused is in jail, adjournments of cases should not be granted unless absolutely necessary.9
1. Paras. 3.1 to 3.6.
2. Para. 3.7.
3. Para. 3.8.
4. Para. 3.9.
5. Para. 3.10.
6. Para. 3.11.
7. Para. 3.12.
8. Para. 3.13; see section 167(2), Cr. P.C., 1973.
9. Para. 3.14.