Account of Ajmal Kasab’s surprise confession have often noted that the Mumbai attacker’s trial has proceeded at a lightning clip, at least compared to other Indian criminal proceedings. How quickly have things gone? A 2007 study in Delhi cast a harsh light on the nation’s creaky wheels of justice:
The analysis is based upon the cases listed before all the 135 criminal courts of the city on a one particular typical day, selected at random. The study finds that in the sessions courts the overwhelming majority of cases carrying 2006 as the year of commission of offence had been pending for more than a year. Specifically, it shows that approximately 67 per cent of the pending criminal trials are one to five years old, 12 per cent six to ten years old, 4 per cent 11-15 years old, and around 2 per cent pending for more than 15 years. On the date selected a mere 14.15 per cent of the matters had come up for trial in the same year as the crime allegedly occurred. Similarly, the courts of the Metropolitan Magistrate also have matters pending trial for offences registered more than 19 years ago.
(Our bolding.) For the Americans in the audience, be extra thankful for the Sixth Amendment and that underrated right to a speedy trial.