Judicial Delay - A Critical Analysis

  • M. Ramanadhan Advocate, Independent Researcher, Melattur, Tamil Nadu, India
  • K. Palaniswamy Advocate, Independent Researcher, Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, India


In the present situation, judicial delay is an immediately noticeable one. Nowadays, a large number of cases have been pending before the courts for a long time. “Delayed justice is denied justice” is a legal maxim and the current situation is in line with this one. Judicial delay, implications of cases becoming „infructuous‟ due to judicial delay and how to avoid the judicial delay, are considered here. Consider two illustrations: First, suppose a person “A” contests in an election for State Assembly. If elected, his term is for five years. Suppose “A” loses the election by a slender margin, say, below 50 votes. He alleges irregularities in the process of counting of votes and approaches the Hon‟ble Court for remedy. If it drags on for five years, it could become „infructuous‟. It could happen in the case of Mr. M.APPAVU who contested Assembly Elections from RADHAPURAM constituency held in 2016. Second, suppose a candidate “Z” applies for the admission to a course in a University after ascertaining his eligibility from several judgments including that of a judgment from the First Bench of the Hon‟ble High Court in a State against the same University. Non application of mind and blatant refusal of the Chairman, Admission Committee to comply with earlier High Court orders, result in denial of a seat to “Z”. Several candidates below his rank get admission and some seats are lying vacant. Now he is made to approach the High Court for remedy. He immediately files a petition in the High Court. The case drags on for, say, about one year and the Court says he is „eligible‟ but due to lapse of time, it has become „infructuous‟ and also based on the mistaken notion that all the seats are filled up. Obviously it is because of judicial delay that the case becomes infructuous and the use of the word „infructuous‟ in the judgment, virtually closes any chance of the University to set right the wrong meted out to the candidate.

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