Reformationof Criminal Justice System”ALLIS WELL THAT ENDS WELL” “Lawshould not sit limply, while those who defy it go free and those who seek itsprotection lose hope”.1INTRODUCTION:The Indian Constitutional and legislative safeguards to protect the rights ofvictims of crime. The researcher tries to analyses these provisions in detailand to interpret these provisions to know the applicability of such provisionsto protect the interest of victims of crime. The Constitution of India takesutmost care and caution to protect and help victims of violation of humanrights. The ultimate goal of thecriminal justice system and the criminal law is to protect rights and personalliberty of individuals and the society against its invasion by others. Thecriminal law aspires to protect the weak against the strong, law abidingagainst lawless and peace against violence. In respect to protection of rightsof the citizen, the state prescribes various rules of conduct, sanction fortheir violation, machinery to enforce those sanctions and a code to protect themachinery.
Often it is the selfishness, greed and ill tolerance that leads todepravation of the various rights of an individual.For over some decades, there has been a growingdemand for amending the criminal justice system. Several amendments have beenmade since independence in this regard. To the effect the entire Code ofCriminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.
) was amended in 1973 or in fact an entirely newCriminal procedure code was adopted with the same. Yet, the inadequacy of thesystem has been posing not only grave challenge to the legitimacy of thesystem, but also affecting the social system adversely. The former president ofIndia Mr.R.Venkataraman once said that “The bane of Criminal justice systemwere tardy investigation, absence of witness, delay, cumbersome procedure ,lengthy judgments, paucity of criminal courts and large number of vacancies ofjudges” and all these need to undergo a process involving a complete overhaulenvironment around.When bad things happen in a complex system, thecause is rarely a single act or a lone “bad apple.” More often, anerror- or “sentinel event”- actually signals a system-wide problem.
In criminal justice, a sentinel event could be awrongful conviction or even a “near-miss” that could have led to abad outcome if it had not been caught. In fact, other high-risk fields, such asaviation and medicine, have seen significant improvements by using alearning-from-error review process that puts all stakeholders at the table toexplore errors in a non-blaming, forward-looking way. The criminal justicesystem is composed of three primary and discernible components: police,courts, and prisons. The components of the criminal justice system are seen asinterrelated, interdependent, and striving to achieve a unified goal.
This viewof criminal justice often focuses on how cases flow through the system, causingripple effects as cases move from one component to the next. The actions ofpolice officers on the streets, for example, affect the workload of courts, andthe decisions of judges in courtrooms affect the operation of jails andprisons.2Criminal Justice System in India:The system of administration of criminal justice inIndia today is the product of well-thought efforts on the part of successiveGovernments. It places human rights and dignity for human life at a much higherpedestal.In our criminal jurisprudence, an accused ispresumed to be innocent till proven guilty, the burden of proof being on theprosecution; he is entitled to a true investigation, and fair and open trial,and the prosecution is enjoined to play a balanced role in the trial of anoffence. The standard of proof required is ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’.Articles 20 and 22 of the Constitution of India, falling in the chapter onfundamental rights, guarantee that no person shall be convicted of any offenceexcept for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the actor omission charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater thanthat which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of thecommission of the offence ( the rule against ex post facto penal law);no person shall be prosecuted and punished twice for the same offence (the ruleagainst double jeopardy); every accused enjoys the right againstself-incrimination; every person who is arrested is entitled to be informed, assoon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest as well as the right to consultand be defended by a lawyer of his choice; every person who is arrested anddetained in custody is required to be produced before the nearest magistratewithin 24 hours, excluding journey time, and cannot be further detained withoutthe magisterial authority.Writ of habeas corpus is a remedy availableunder our Constitution of India to question the various detentions whichare illegal.
Article 21 of our Constitution guarantees protectionof life and personal liberty and enjoins that no person shall be deprived ofhis life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.Through judicial interpretation, this fundamental right has been elaborated andexpanded tremendously. The ‘procedure’ prescribed by law has to be ‘reasonable,fair and just’. A right to early end of criminal proceedings through a speedytrial is a part of right to life. Right against solitary confinement, rightagainst bar fetters, right against handcuffing, right against custodialviolence, right to human conditions in prisons and protective homes, and rightto legal aid are but some of the rights which have been held to flow from thisarticle. Avoidable arrests are frowned upon by courts.
A person arrested cannotbe subjected to more restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape. Then,there are well-meaning provisions concerning bail.The Indian Penal Code 1860, the Code of CriminalProcedure 1973, along with parts of the Indian Evidence Act 1872, constitutethe essence of Indian criminal law. A large number of special and local lawstake care of various other antisocial activities. Members of the armed forcesface trial for offences by a Court Martial under special Acts owing to theirspecial requirements.
Stages of Criminal Trial in India:The criminal procedure in India is governed by the Criminal Procedure Code;1973.It divides the procedure to be followed for administration of criminaljustice into three stages namely- Investigation is the process where evidences are to be collected by the police. Inquiry is the second step done by them. Inquiry is a judicial proceeding where judge ensures for himself before going on trial, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person is guilty.
Trial is the judicial adjudication of a person’s guilt or innocence.The steps in detail are as follows:(i) Registration of F.I.R Lodged under section 154 of the code which provides for the manner in which such information is to be recorded. Statement of the informant as recorded under section 154 is said to be the First Information Report. Its main object is to set the criminal law in motion. FIR means the information, by whomsoever given, to the officer in charge of a police station in relation to the commission of a cognizable offence and which is first in point of time and on the strength of which the investigation into that offence is commenced. Its evidentiary value: – It is not substantive evidence i.
e. not the evidence of the facts which it mentions. Its importance as conveying the earliest information regarding the occurrence cannot be doubted. It can be used to corroborate the informant under section 157 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, or to contradict him under section 145 of the act, if the informant is called as a witness at the time of trial.ii) Commencement of investigation: It includes all the efforts of a police officer for collection of evidence: Proceeding to the spot; ascertaining facts and circumstances; discovery and arrest of the suspected offender; collection of evidence relating to the commission of offence, which may consist of the examination of various persons including the accused and taking of their statements in writing and the search of places or seizure of things considered necessary for their investigation and to be produced at the trial; formation of opinion as to whether on the basis of the material collected there is a case to place the accused before a magistrate for trial and if so, taking the necessary steps for the charge-sheet.
Investigation ends in a police report to the magistrate. It leads an investigating officer to reach a conclusion whether a charge-sheet has to be filed or a closure report has to be filed.iii) Framing of charges: If a person is notdischarged, trial begins by framing a charge (nothing but a specific accusationagainst the accused) and reading and explaining it to him (so that he knowswhat he is to force).
iv) Conviction on plea of guilty: After framing ofcharges the judge proceeds to take the ‘plea of guilt’ which is an opportunityto the accused to acknowledge that he pleads guilty and does not wish tocontest the case. Here the judge responsibility is onerous- a. to ensure thatthe plea of guilt is free and voluntary, b. He has to ensure that if there hadbeen no plead of guilt- was the prosecution version if rebutted would haveled to conviction. If both the requirements are met then judge can record andaccept plea of guilt and convict the accused after listening to him onsentence.v) Recording of the prosecution Evidence:Examination of prosecution witness by the police prosecutor, marking ofexhibits and cross examination by defense counsel.vi) Statement of the Accused: Section 313 of theCriminal procedure empowers the court to ask for explanation from the accusedif any. The basic idea is to give an opportunity of being heard to an accusedand explain the facts and circumstances appearing in the evidence against him.
Under this section, an accused shall not be administered an oath and theaccused may refuse to answer the questions so asked. The answers given by theaccused may be taken into consideration in such inquiry or trial, and put inevidence for or against him.vii) Evidence of Defense: In cases of accused notbeing acquitted by the court, the defense is given an opportunity to presentany defense evidence in support of the accused. The defense can also produceits witnesses and the said witnesses are cross- examined by the prosecution.However, in India the defense does not provide defense evidence as the criminaljustice system puts burden of proof on the prosecution to prove that a personis guilty of an offence beyond the reasonable doubt.viii) Final arguments on both the sides: once thepublic prosecutor and the defense counsel present their arguments, the courtgenerally reserve its judgment.
ix) Judgment: Judgment is the final reasoneddecision of the court as to the guilt or innocence of the accused. Afterapplication of judicial mind, the judge delivers a final judgments holding anaccused guilty of an offence or acquitting him of the particular offence. If aperson is acquitted, the prosecution is given time to file an appeal and if aperson is convicted of a particular offence, then date is fixed for argumentson sentence. Once a person is convicted of an offence, both the sides presenttheir arguments on what punishment should be awarded to an accused. This isdone in cases which are punished with death or life imprisonment. After thearguments on sentence, the court finally decides what should be the punishmentfor the accused.
While punishing a person, the courts consider various theoriesof punishment for the accused. While punishing a person, the courts considervarious theories of punishment like deterrent theory of punishment andreformative theory of punishment. Court considers the age, background andhistory of an accused and the judgment is pronounced accordinglyObjectof the Criminal Justice SystemThe object of the criminal justice system is torender public justice, to punish the criminal and to see that the trial isconcluded expeditiously before the memory of the witness fades out. Reformationof Criminal justice system doesn’t only means to reform the justice system butthe whole method.
Right from the police to the speedy trial needs to bereformed. The main components of the reformation of the criminal justice systemare following:-1. Police2.
PrisonReformation3. Judiciarysystem4. Needof speedy TrialThese are the main contents which need to bereformed and courts should always try to maintain the public faith in ensuringthe concept of the Human Rights in administration of Justice.Componentsof the Reformation of Criminal Justice System are follows:-Police: The police are taking steps to meet thechallenges they face to ensure they continue to maintain and improve publictrust and confidence. Police hold a special place in the criminal justicesystem. Not only do the activities of law enforcement officers affect theoperations of the entire criminal justice system, but police are said to be the”gate keepers” of the system.
They are usually the first to make contact withaccused offenders and are in a position to make some very important decisionsabout what will happen to those individuals. Police officers are speciallytrained in many aspects of criminal justice and law in general. The dutiesprovided by law enforcement personnel include traffic citations, criminalinvestigations and emergency response as well as crime prevention. Lawenforcement is there to enforce all laws set in place by the government,whether on the local or federal level.PrisonReformation:Undoubtedly, the condition of modern prisons is better than that in the pastbut still much remains to be done in the direction of prison reforms for humanetreatment of prisoners. The treatment of prisoners should be in accordance withthe constitutional mandates to secure them the basic rights.
Many jails in thiscountry continue to be the same.The Code of Criminal Procedure is the mainprocedural law to protect the rights of victims of crime. The existing criminalrehabilitation of offenders through correctional system and a solace to victimsof crimes. The existing criminal justice system is affected with variousmaladies and faults viz.
the legal process is time consuming and it is accusedoriented system i.e., system is more concerned with the rights and interests ofthe accused rather than those of the victims, there is lack of coordination betweenPolice and prosecution, overcrowding in jails, expensive legal process, noprotection to witnesses and fault}” investigation etc.Judiciary: Reformation in judiciary lies in reconstruction ofjudicial structure and reformation of laws by deleting the outdated laws andintroducing new legal provisions, as required according to need of the presentdate. The vexed question of reformation in judiciary has become now a globalproblem. The problems of jural reforms are also not less attractive than structuralreforms. Reformation in Judges and Reformation in Laws.
Less said better aboutthe situation, there is hardly any provision for proper training andsupervision of judicial officials. Now some Academic trainings Institutes havebeen opened and the training is given to the judicial officer. The system maybe appreciated if it is made meaningful. The inspecting judges must devotesufficient time to examine the various records of the courts and to hear theofficers and the lawyers with a view to bring uniformity in working of theofficers and even to introduce certain changes in the rules of working if it isfelt necessary. It is also very important that our society is facing crisis oflaw also. Many of the laws have become outdated and do not conform to the needsof the society. The judges have to impart justice according to the law.
3SpeedyTrial:Thepresent criminal justice system has failed to deliver speedy and prompt justiceto people and ensuring certainty of punishment to perpetrators of crime. Criminalcases are pending in courts from several years and in some cases more than 15years or more and number of under trial prisoners languishing in jails isincreasing day by day. The different sub-systems of criminal justice system,viz., the police, prosecution, judiciary and correctional institutions have notbeen able to meet their goals and people have lost faith in existing CriminalJustice System. As law is the subject which is not known by all the generalpeople but the lawyers, the judges and the people specialized in such subject ,so it become very difficult for the general people to understand the law andthey rely upon their advocates.
It is not only the judges who are to be blamedfor the slow process but it is the entire system which is to be blamed for thesame. As the number of judges when compared to the other states is less and incountry like India which is over populated should have better system to providejustice. In order to reform it the need of speedy trial is very important.
Thereformation of the criminal justice system is not at all possible without thespeedy trial process and provides justice among the people. MALIMATH COMMITTEE: COMMITTEE WAS HEADED BY Justice V.S.Malimath, former Chief Justice of Karnataka and Kerala High Court. Constituted by the Home Ministry in 2000 and the report was submitted to Deputy Prime Minister L.K.Advani who was the in charge of Home Portfolio in 2003.
The committee worked on the fundamentals principlesof criminal law, so they can restore the faith and confidence in the criminaljustice system. And this also involves the reviewing of Code of CriminalProcedure Code,1973, the Evidence Act,1872 and the Indian Penal Code,1860.4 There were 158 recommendations of the committee, arrived for examining several national systems of criminal law, especially the continental European systems.
It shifted from a adversarial criminal justice system where the facts were represented by the prosecution and defence before a judge, to an inquisitorial system. Report has advised many of the pre-trial safeguards against violence in police custody that an accused has; 90 day period available for filing a charge sheet after which an accused can be released on bail. It also permits 15 days police remand of an accused be doubled for grave offences. Malimath committee also recommends to set up a State Security Commission, as recommended by the NPC, to insulate the police from political pressure and allow to work freely. The report clearly states that wherever the death penalty is needed it should be replaced with life imprisonment without commutation and remission. The Committee does not favor the death penalty for rapists.WEAK POINTS: Malimath reports increased burden on the court. Speedy trials, fast-track courts, the huge undertrial population, and access to courts have been neglected.
Crimes against members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes do not find mention in the report. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on theinner workings of the criminal justice system during the Enlightenment. Also,it is important to discuss the heinous nature of this system, what crimes werepunished, to what extent they were punished, and a brief overview of thereasons for which the penal system was in existing condition. The first part ofthis paper will discuss the nature of the penal system, as it existed duringthe Enlightenment. In order to do this, it is necessary to take into accountthe observations of many prominent philosophers of the time includingMontesquieu, Voltaire, and Beccaria and his colleagues at the Academy ofFisticuffs. The second part of this paper will examine the philosophy of CesareBeccaria, his account of human nature, the purposes behind the formation of thestate, and his theory of punishment. The third part of the paper will coverBeccaria’s critique of the existing penal system, and his suggestions forreformation.
CONCLUSIONTherefore in lieu of all the aforesaid as well asother facts and circumstances it is evident that the Criminal Justice System isto be studied by its ground realities and it is high time to come up with bestpossible reformations in coherence to its ground realities that could benefitthe public at large and of course it should be protected enough so that itshouldn’t get away as per the wishes and desires of those who are moving in redbeacon vehicles or have a Swiss bank account. Further simplifying judicialprocedures and coherence among the judiciary and the Prosecution and Police,making the system simpler, faster, cheaper and user-friendly, and restoring theconfidence of the common man should be the priority while considering thereformation of the Criminal Justice system of India. 1 (Jennisonv. Baker (1972) 1 All ER 997).2 Jury in the caseof Jennison v.
Baker (1972) 1 All ER 997 http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/criminal_justice_system.pdf;http://www.pib.nic.in3Reformation in Judiciary by Y.P.Bhagat.4Malimath’s committee report pdf