SC: Substantive justice must always prevail over procedural justice.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 7th May, 2019, in the matter of State Represented By Inspector Of Police Central Bureau Of Investigation v. M. Subrahmanyam pronounced that a procedural lapse cannot be placed at par with what is or may be substantive violation of the law. Substantive justice must always prevail over procedural or technical justice.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

Substantive justice must always prevail over procedural or technical justice. (Para 9)

To hold that failure to explain delay in a procedural matter would operate as res judicata will be a travesty of justice. (Para 9)

The rights of an accused are undoubtedly important, but so is the rule of law and societal interest in ensuring that an alleged offender be subjected to the laws of the land in the larger public interest. (Para 9)

To put the rights of an accused at a higher pedestal and to make the rule of law and societal interest in prevention of crime, subservient to the same cannot be considered as dispensation of justice. A balance therefore has to be struck. (Para 9)

A procedural lapse cannot be placed at par with what is or may be substantive violation of the law. (Para 9)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_07-May-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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