Federal govt. mulls revamp of criminal justice system to reduce pendency

Centre mulls revamp of criminal justice system to reduce pendency

New Delhi:  With an aim to further reforms in the criminal justice system, the Government is contemplating a slew of proposals including separating the investigation and prosecution wings of police, a top Government functionary said.

The Home Ministry is in process of taking opinions of the Government of states in this regard, the officials added.

The proposal once implemented, will separate investigation and prosecution wings of the police and would also explore the possibility of appointment of a Director General-rank officer as Director of Prosecution in every State.

SMSs could also be used to alert witnesses regarding court appearances and putting in place a provision to issue e-summons is also being studied by the Government.

Possibility of informing the victims of crime about the stage of investigation in trial of cases through SMS with the help of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS) is also under consideration of the Ministry.

Trial of heinous or serious crimes is being considered to be taken up on priority for speedier conclusion to improve credibility of the criminal justice system and maximum number of adjournments allowed for the defendants of criminal cases may also be limited to speed up trials.

The Centre is also contemplating to amend certain provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to make electronic evidence as primary evidence. Till now during trial, the electronic evidence are considered as subsidiary evidence and it has to be corroborated by some primary evidence.

The Home Ministry is taking opinion of the Law Ministry so that the draft can be place before the Parliament for amendments sin the present law.

The reform measures will also facilitate setting up of Police commissionerate system in urban cities with a population of over 10 lakh.

The Union Home Ministry is also revisiting the issue of not handcuffing accused persons in the light of recent Supreme Court directives and enabling police custody of the accused any time after arrest as against the current practice of the 15-day deadline.

Besides these proposals, the Home Ministry is also reviewing to increasing the number of working days of the lower and session courts in the state so as to reduce the pendency of cases in the courts, a top official, who is privy to this development, said.

A system of continuous recruitment whereby online tests can be taken by interested candidates regularly and database of successful candidates created for any Government organisation, including police can choose and subject them to further test or interview to avoid escalation in number of vacancies in police resulting in poor police to population ratio, sources saidd.

The Ministry is also mulling to create organisation modeled on the lines Multi Agency Centre (MAC) that will help share and disseminate information on crime-related information or inputs under the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS).


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