The Supreme Court of India recently held that a person cannot be kept in jail indefinitely when he has not been convicted.
The Court emphasized on the fundamental right of dignified life and the inherent principle of criminal jurisprudence that no one is guilty unless so proved.
The Court said “It is well settled that at pre-conviction stage, there is presumption of innocence. The object of keeping a person in custody is to ensure his availability to face the trial and to receive the sentence that may be passed. The detention is not supposed to be punitive or preventive. Seriousness of the allegation or the availability of material in support thereof are not the only considerations for declining bail. Delay in commencement and conclusion of trial is a factor to be taken into account and the accused cannot be kept in custody for indefinite period if trial is not likely to be concluded within reasonable time.”