A court acquitted four men of fraud after a 33-year trial that cost the state nearly 130 times the amount the men were accused of appropriating, newspapers reported today.
“This trial is the biggest waste of public time and money,” Judge V. B. Gupta said, according to The Hindu daily.
News reports said the case was the longest criminal trial ever recorded in India, whose judicial system is well known for its slowness.
The trial began in 1957, two years after four employees of a state-run transport company were accused of buying spurious motor parts, which made the company lose about $4,500.
Gupta said the prosecution failed to prove the fraud charges despite the 33 years of hearings. He said that over the years the cost of the trial mounted to $588,235.