The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, which aroused the most vigorous comments and criticisms in the House of the People this week, has been referred to a Joint Select Committee of Parliament. And the provisions of the Bill, with a summary of the varied views expressed thereon, will be circulated for the information of the general public…..
Sweeping reforms in the administration of justice have been long over-due. There have been three main defects with the system that has been in practice in India. There was no assurance, because of the practice of perjury, that an aggrieved party would always secure justice or that the innocent would not suffer. The cost of litigation has been ruinous and the judicial process involved long delays.
The maintenance of law and order and the assurance of prompt and effective justice to every citizen, regardless of his status and position, constitute the primary functions of Government. And even the Home Minister, Dr Katju, conceded indirectly that this function was not being carried out to the satisfaction of the citizens.
The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill aims at placing the system of criminal justice on a sound footing and ensuring that everyone gets justice expeditiously and without undue expenditure. The debate indicated a sharp divergence of opinion as to whether the Bill, in its present form, would achieve its objective of cheap and speedy justice….
With a few exceptions, however, the provisions of the Bill are such as to facilitate the programme on hand. They are aimed at giving the accused all possible opportunity to clear himself of the charges preferred against him.
The defects in our judicial system are mainly the legacy of foreign rule. Dr Katju has suggested that the people must now consider the courts as their own. But he forgets that a change of attitude on the part of the people can come only with a change of complex on the part of the courts and the judicial system…..
(EDIT, May 8, 1954.)