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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 July, 2005, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Acquitted man's nine years' jail
A tribal man in the eastern Indian state of Orissa had to wait nine years to be released from prison even though he had been acquitted.

Pratap Naik was convicted of murder in 1989 by a local court but was acquitted by the state's High Court in 1994.

He was released only in 2003. No reason has been given for the delay.

His lawyer filed for compensation of one million rupees ($23,000) to the Supreme Court. Judges dismissed the claim, referring it to a lower court.

Delayed justice

The Supreme Court judges said on Tuesday that previous rulings on the case had not been incorrect but they were persuaded by lawyers that this was a "gross" case.

They ordered the high court to look at the case again and not be influenced by the dismissal in the Supreme Court.

Mr Naik, who has reportedly gone insane, was convicted in December 1989 of causing the death of a person by throwing a stone but was acquitted in October 1994.

Courts in India are known for taking years to deliver justice.

In many cases, even after acquittal, releases can be withheld by jail authorities for months or even years without adequate reason.

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