Changes needed in criminal justice, says apex court judge

Hon’ble  Dr Justice B.S.Chauhan, Judge, Supreme Court of India inaugurating Regional Judicial Conference (North Zone) in Shimla today. Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar, Chief Justice of H.P. High Court also seen in the picture.
Hon’ble Dr Justice B.S.Chauhan, Judge, Supreme Court of India inaugurating Regional Judicial Conference (North Zone) in Shimla today. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar, Chief Justice of H.P. High Court also seen in the picture.

Shimla: Justice B.S. Chauhan of the Supreme Court today advocated the need for changing the entire administration system of criminal justice.

“Rapid scientific development has taken place in all spheres. Hence, the entire administration system of criminal justice requires appropriate change, right from police to judicial officers,” he said.

Inaugurating the three-day regional judicial conference organised here by the Himachal Pradesh Judicial Academy in collaboration with the state high court and the National Judicial Academy of Bhopal, Justice Chauhan said new issues had popped up in society like live-in relationship and false promises of marriages.

“Courts have to be sensitive in finding out the root cause of such incidents,” he said.

He asked judicial officers to adopt innovative approach to deal with the situations that arise from time to time so that justice was delivered in the right way.

Justice Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar of the Himachal Pradesh High said criminal justice depends on a chain of benefactors, right from police to forensic experts to advocates to public prosecutors to witnesses and to courts.

“Each of these benefactors is important and every part of the chain is to be strengthened.”

He said it was like a house built with a pack of cards. “Inaction or act of commission or omission, even by one of these benefactors, inevitably, results in subversion of justice. It is, therefore, very important to delineate the protocols and best practices to be observed by each of these benefactors.”

He said all the functionaries involved in the criminal justice delivery should be provided with adequate staff and equipments so as to speed up the justice delivery process.

In cases concerning women and children, he said lack of sensitivity by the duty holders was another significant challenge in the administration of criminal justice.

“Judges who are expected to control the courts also play a pivotal role in the administration of criminal justice,” Justice Khanwilkar said.

“They should not be the silent spectators. At the same time, they should not give an impression of being proactive, judgemental or opinionated before the trial concludes,” he added.

Justice M.B. Lokur of the apex court will deliver the valedictory address June 2.

More than 100 judges and judicial officials from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are participating in the conference on Administration of Criminal Justice: Issues and Challenges.

– IANS

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