No Sovereign Immunity in Cases of Fundamental Rights Violations: MP HC

A single bench comprising of Justice GS Ahluwalia of the Gwalior Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court held that the State Government cannot seek sovereign immunity as a defence in cases of violation of fundamental rights of citizens.

Keeping in mind the petitioner’s violation of fundamental right to Speedy Trial under Article 21 of the constitution, the court directed the state to pay compensation within 30 days. The petitioner had been in jail for over one year without any progress in trial.

The petitioner had been arrested by Inspector Rekhapal and Inspector Ram Naresh Yadav under Sections 8/20 of the NDPS Act. Only one witness had appeared in the case in the span of one year.

The court held that the delay in trial was attributable to the officers and thus the compensation shall be recovered from their salary. Further departmental enquiry is due.

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