Inordinate and endless delay in the conclusion of a criminal trial is the singular most important challenge faced by our criminal justice system and has a devastating effect on the credibility, transparency, public confidence and health of our justice system. To meet this challenge coordinated efforts of all the organs of the Government; the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary, are required.
Inordinate or long delay in the conclusion of the trial for no fault of the accused and his protracted detention without determination of his guilt, as held by this Court in Riasat Ali, amount to harassment and abuse of the process of law. Such delay can therefore be a valid ground for releasing the accused on bail and restoring his fundamental right to life and liberty. No doubt, the right to life and liberty guaranteed by Article 9 of the Constitution is “subject to law” but the law, which can curtail this right, means a law that promotes larger public interest and not a law that impedes “fair trial” and limits “due process”.
[Supreme Court of Pakistan Chairman NAB thr. P.G, Accountability Vs. Nasar Ullah & others Civil Petitions No.1809 to 1814 of 2020]