Present law not capable of rendering speedy/fair justice: BCD urges Home Minister to involve Bar Councils in framing Criminal Law Reforms

Present law not capable of rendering speedy/fair justice: BCD urges Home Minister to involve Bar Councils in framing Criminal Law Reforms

The Delhi Bar Council Chairman's letter notes that lawyers notice many loopholes and lapses in law, which can be redressed with the help of the legal community at the stage of framing or amending the law.

Lydia Suzanne Thomas

The Bar Council of Delhi (the Council), in a letter addressed to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, has sought the inclusion of Bar Council of India and State Bar Councils representatives in the Central Committee for Reforms in Criminal Law.

"... the legal community in India has many well experienced experts in criminal law and by virtue of their dealing with criminal cases extensively, they can help the government for bringing a better system and suggest suitable amendments."
the letter states.

Stating that the extensive recommendations made by the Malimath Commission Report have not been implemented, the Council calls for a drastic revamp of the system, with “extensive brainstorming” exercises to ensure that the interests of the public are reflected in legislation.

The letter points out that the prevailing system of criminal justice has failed to protect the weakest and most vulnerable. Concern is raised that the laws in place “fail to prevent such crimes or convict such offender."

To illustrate, the letter points to the spate of legislative reforms brought about in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. The letter highlights that the amendments “proved inconsequential to reduce crime.

The killing of the four persons accused in the Hyderabad rape and murder in an “encounter” is another “glaring example of systemic failure” that was celebrated by much of the public, despite dissonance with the rule of law, notes the letter signed off by the Delhi Bar Council Chairman, Advocate KC Mittal.

The Council’s communication adds, "The rule of law does not permit street trials. In a civilized society, we cannot permit any system having no legal sanction."

The letter also quotes Chief Justice Bobde as have said that “Justice loses its character if it becomes revenge.

Public discontent with existent systems is evident from agitations and protests, it is noted. The letter states that the “inefficiency and lackadaisical attitude of police” is also responsible for the erosion of public confidence in the criminal justice system.

“Tardy and sluggish investigations, laying dishonest and defective foundation of a case is main cause, rendering courts helpless to convict, in absence of evidence. Governments after governments completely ignored to bring Police reforms, despite repeated court directions, more so when existing model is incapable to render speedy and fair justice, to say the least. On many occasions, Court issue directions to investigating agencies or order establishment of fast track courts, even monitor investigations, which hardly has any impact to improve overall the system, except some consolation to public. How long it can go on?”

While appreciating the government for its efforts in reviewing the criminal justice system and amending the law, the Council has now urged for the inclusion of representatives from the Bar Council of India, the State Bar Councils, and experts, who would be able to provide “better inputs” by reason of their “vast experience."

During the course of court proceedings and discussion among the legal community, “we notice many loopholes and lapses in law, which is a cause for delay in dispensation of justice”, it is pointed out.

The Bar Council Chairman adds that if these aspects are examined with the help of the legal community during the drafting or amendment of the law comprehensively, it would be very helpful.

Read the Letter:

BCD Chairman's Letter - Reform in Criminal Laws.pdf
Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news