I think we should not let our emotions to rule over our thoughts while commenting on such issues. While it is a fact that it took such a long time to decide this case, we need to look into and understand the facts and circumstances too.
The case was registered in the year 1978. We are all aware of the value of Rs 20/- then and especially what it must have meant to the 20-year-old complainant then. The accused was arrested and was subsequently granted bail. The case must have been called up a number of times since then for hearing. We are not aware as to why it got adjourned time and again. But as per reports the accused used to attend the Court in between (in between) till 2004. Then, for whatever reasons, he stopped coming to the Court. So, as per procedure (summons, warrants etc), he was arrested in 2019and was sent to jail. Let us not forget that he was sent to jail this time not for the crime but for not responding to the summons issued by the Court. He could not obtain bail due to his financial conditions. Subsequently, on the issue being realized, the matter was brought up before the Lok Adalat and the complainant sought to settle the issue keeping in mind the financial and health conditions of the accused. Thus the matter was closed as settled and the accused was released.
While our hearts must go out to such people who suffer (with or without reasons), we must not forget that the Judiciary is subject to certain rules and procedures and they cannot arrive at decisions on their whims and fancies. Who knows, the case could have been settled earlier if the accused wanted so. The deterioration in the value of money might have made the complainant also lose his interest in the case.
Whatever the reasons may be, I think we should take more care while dealing with such issues. I am not denying the fact that there are areas where the Judiciary needs to be more effective but I can't agree if someone says that such delays are intentional or avoidable.
'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. -Aristotle