Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Judicial reforms

India needs judicial reforms. Cases drag on for years from lower courts to Sessions Courts to High Courts to Supreme Court. Adjournments and stay orders delay justice. Appeals are allowed long after the expiry of the period granted for appeal. Cases decided by arbitration are appealed in High Courts. There are various tribunals whose judgments can be appealed.

Cases of murder, rape, abduction, hijacking and such high crimes must be tried by a court having three judges and the decision should be first and last. There should be no appeal, only mercy petition in case there is punishment. Minor crimes may be tried by one judge. Civil matters may be tried by one judge or three judges depending on the amount involved and there should be no appeal.

Public interest litigation should be done away with. The law does not provide for PIL. It was an invention of a CJI. Mostly PIL is publicity interest litigation or political interest litigation or private interest litigation.

There should be no lawyers. In criminal matters police should produce evidence and witnesses and the accused have to defend themselves. They may question police evidence and witnesses and produce evidence and witnesses in their defence which the police may question.

Punishment to be consecutive and not concurrent. It should be multiplied according to the people who suffer. If two years is the punishment for causing death by accident of one person it should be 30,000 years for causing death by accident of 15,000 persons. If one year is the punishment for leaking a question paper in which one student appears for an examination it should be 1,00,000 years when 1,00,000 students appear for an examination.

There should be no parole or furlough or early release. Many people jump parole or furlough. Sometimes people who give guarantee or stand surety claim they did not do so and their signatures were forged as happened in Bitty Mohanty case. Parole or furlough is not a right. In Maharashtra in one year more than 800 persons disappeared after release on parole or furlough.

Time spent by criminals in hospitals should not be counted as part of the sentence and the period of sentence should be extended accordingly.

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