27th April, 2002
Ministry of Law, Justice & Company Affairs


The Union Minister for Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley has called for revamping criminal justice delivery system in the country. Addressing a three-day long Seminar on "Fundamental Principles of Criminal Justice A Fresh Look" under the aegis of the Justice V.S. Malimath Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System and the Bar Association of India, here last evening, Shri Jaitley suggested some of the measures to make criminal justice delivery system fair, time bound and result-oriented. The measures he enumerated included integrity and fairness of police system, accountability of police system and others to ensure fairness of the criminal justice system, right of accused to fair trial, larger interest of civil society, expeditious and time bound trial and proceedings, increasing the number of judges, timely filling of vacancies of judges, checking witnesses turning hostile and a serious look at our perjury law to improve criminal justice delivery system. The Law Minister said that at stake was rule of law and constitutional guarantee. The Seminar was inaugurated by the former President, Shri R. Venkataraman.

Shri Venkataraman said that the three adjuncts of criminal justice system were: prosecution, trial and sentence or punishment. The bane of criminal justice system were tardy investigation, absence of witnesses, delay, cumbersome procedures, lengthy judgements, paucity of criminal courts and large number of vacancies of Judges. He suggested addressing all these problems comprehensively to help the people repose faith in the efficacy of our criminal justice system.

Earlier, the President of the Bar Association of India, Shri Fali S. Nariman, in his keynote address said that the present criminal justice system in India was in terrible shape. He suggested dispensing of recording of evidence and confessional statements as they were farce and untenable. He further said that the country needed robust and upright Judges who could make difference and for this, Judges needed to be educated. Shri Lalit Bhasin delivered welcome address.

The three-day Seminar on "Fundamental Principles of Criminal Justice is the fourth in the series following, Bangalore, Mumbai and Jaipur for interaction with Bench, Bar and Retired Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts and other professionals to help justice Malimath Committee firm up its suggestions and recommend to the Government measures for streamlining criminal justice delivery system in the country.


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