Report No. 154
Summary of Proceedings of the Workshops on the Code of Criminal Procedure
Proceedings of the Meeting of the Law Commission of India held at Andhra Pradesh Judicial Academy, Secunderabad on 26-11-1995 at 10.00 a.m.
In the process of undertaking a comprehensive revision of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the Chairman, Law Commission of India, Hon'ble Sri Justice K. Jayachandra Reddy held a meeting in association with Sri Ch. Krishna Murthy, Member, Law Commission of India, on 26-11-1995 from 10.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. at Andhra Pradesh Judicial Academy, Secunderabad. The following senior judicial officers, senior police officers and senior advocates participated in the said meeting:
1. Sri Y. Venkateswara Rao, District & Sessions Judge, Rangareddy District.
2. Sri C.Y. Somayajulu, Chief Judge, City Small Causes Court, Hyderabad.
3. Sri M.E.N. Patrudu, Registrar (Management), High Court of A.P., Hyderabad.
4. Sri G. Yethirajulu, Director, A.P. Judicial Academy, Secunderabad.
5. Sri L. Ramachenna Reddy, Special Judge for C.B.I. cases, Hyderabad.
6. Sri D. Subrahmanyam, Metropolitan Sessions Judge, Hyderabad.
7. Sri K. Veerapu Naidu, Addl. Director, A.P. Judicial Academy, Secunderabad.
8. Sri N. Vidya Prasad, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Rangareddy District.
9. Sri D. Appa Rao, Addl. Chief Judge, City Civil Court, Hyderabad.
10. Sri S. Chandra Rao, C.M. M-cum-M.S.J., Hyderabad.
11. Sri G. Bhavani Prasad, Secretary, Legal Affairs, Govt. of A.P., Hyderabad.
12. Sri G. Vo. Seethapati, Special Judge for Economic Offences, Hyderabad.
13. Sri H.J. Dora, I.P.S.., Addl. D.G.P., C.I.D., Hyderabad.
14. Sri Lokendra Sharma, D.I.G., C.I.D.
15. Sri K. Ch. Venkata Reddy, I.P.S., Joint Director, A.P. Police Academy,
16. Sri M. Ramakrishna Rao, Chief Legal Advisor-cum-P.P., Hyderabad.
17. Sri E. Yella Reddy, President, Bar Council of India & President, A.P. State Bar Council & Advocate.
18. Sri C. Padmanabha Reddy, Advocate.
19. Sri P. Seethapati, Advocate.
20. Sri T. Bali Reddy, President, A.P. High Court Advocates' Association & Advocate.
During the meeting the Hon'ble Chairman, Law Commission of India, while addressing the participants apprised the members about the reference made by the Government of India to the Law Commission to undertake a comprehensive revision of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and to make appropriate recommendations. It is expressed by the Chairman that the need for amending various provisions of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 was being felt for removing certain lacunae experienced and in pursuance of such experiences amendments were made in 1978, 1980, 1983, 1988, 1990, 1991 and 1993 on certain aspects.
It is farther apprised that the Law Commission has already made several recommendations through its various reports about the reforms to be brought in the Code of Criminal Procedure and that certain recommendations were also received from various other agencies and the Government about the necessity of such recommendations.
It is further expressed by the Hon'ble Chairman that there has been inordinate delay in disposal of criminal cases and there is consequent loss of faith in the criminal justice system which has shaken the confidence of the people in the rule of law and that there has been alarming rise in the arrears of criminal cases.
It is further expressed, that in view of the above circumstances, the Law Commission of India has undertaken a study for comprehensive revision of the Code of Criminal Procedure so as to remove the germane problems leading to consequential delay in disposal of criminal cases. The Hon'ble Chairman further expressed that the Law Commission seeks to elicit opinion from different parts of the country to formulate the information and to make necessary recommendations to the Government for amending the Code.
1. Role of Investigating Agencies: It is essential to have a separate investigating agency in cases of serious offences punishable for seven years imprisonment and above to enable such agency to monitor the progress from the stage of registering the F.I.R. to the stage of conclusion of the trial. It is further suggested that the delays can be avoided in speeding up the trials if an investigating agency is exclusively created for investigation purpose only.
2. Arrest: The powers that are being exercised by the police officers under section 41 of the Criminal Procedure Code have to be controlled by putting some limitations on the powers conferred under the above section.
3. Reforms in prosecuting agency: It is suggested that there should be a separate cadre of Public Prosecutors to enable them to function independently from the control of the police and avoid political or other types of interference with the police investigation and there is a further suggestion that the Directorate of Prosecution shall be headed by a District & Sessions Judge arid other judicial officers as Director, Joint Directors etc., to monitor the functioning of the Public Prosecutors of the respective State. It is further suggested that there shall be co-ordination between the Prosecuting Agency and the Investigating Agency to assist the courts for effective dispensation of justice.
4. Deletion of section 162, Cr. P.C., and change in the mode of recording under section 161: It was unanimously suggested that the recording of statement under section 160(1), Cr. P.C., can be dispensed with and an alternative has to be provided either by way of making it necessary to get the statements of the witnesses recorded under section 164, Cr. P.C., through a Judicial Magistrate or such other measure that is necessary.
5. Procedure when investigation cannot be completed in 24 hours and consequent Police Custody: In view of the decision of the Supreme Court in C.B.I., New Delhi v. Arupam J. Kulkarni, 1992 (3) SCC 141, the police custody under proviso to section 167(2) can be only during the first 15 days of the remand and not later. It is suggested that section 167 can be amended in such a way that the police custody can be given at any time before conclusion of the investigation with a saving clause that such police custody is permissible under special circumstances.
6. Disposal of certain cases by Nyaya Panchayat: It is suggested that the Nyaya Panchayat at Mandal level would certainly reduce the burden of regular civil and criminal courts at gross-root level. But in order to make the people to repose confidence on such Nyaya Panchayats they shall be headed by judicial officers not below the rank of Munsif Magistrate who is in service.
7. Adjournments in trial: Frequent granting of adjournments on flimsy grounds shall be avoided under section 309, Cr. P.C., and that the Bench shall watch the situation whenever adjournment is to be granted and the advocates and prosecutors shall be sensitized about the necessity of speeding up the trials to lessen pendency of the courts.
8. Compounding of offences: Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has to be once again gone through as to what are the penal provisions of I.P.C., that are to be brought to the table under section 320, Cr. P.C. It is also expressed that in the said revision, care shall also be taken whether it is essential to delete any existing penal provisions of I.P.C., from the table of section 320, Cr. P.C., regarding the compounding of offences, so that the morale of the public may not be affected.
9. Conversion of some warrant cases into summons and to be tried summarily: The participants suggested that it is sufficient if a uniform procedure is adopted in respect of all cases triable before the judicial First Class Magistrates by amending the provisions in such a way to see that sufficient opportunity is given to the accused in defending himself in order to meet the ends of justice.
10. Compounding at the stage of investigation: It is suggested that suitable amendments have to be made to the relevant provisions to enable the investigating agency to effect compromise at the investigation stage between the victims and the accused in respect of offences which are not exclusively triable by Sessions Courts and to report the said compromise to the competent court to record the same after hearing both parties.
11. Appointment of Honorary/Special Magistrates: It is necessary that the appointments for the above posts shall be done by appointing eligible persons on full time basis and the present practice of appointing retired judicial officers or the executive officers has to be dispensed with.
12. Anticipatory: It is suggested that there shall be by some restrictions in the power of granting anticipatory bail under section 438, Cr. P.C., since there is a comment that this beneficial provision is being misused to a very large extent. Some of the participants suggested that the provision itself can be deleted from the Code.
13. Plea Bargaining: It is suggested that since the plea bargaining which is known as alternate dispute resolution has been successful in western countries it is desirable to introduce the same in India also on experimental basis and on the basis of the success of such experiment the same can be extended to other parts of the country.
14. Special positions in respect of women: It is suggested that there may be liberal application of remission and commutation of sentences in respect of women to achieve the object of sections 433 & 433A of the Criminal Procedure Code by amending them suitably.
It was expressed that the reliefs provided under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code are not reaching the dependents due to the ineffective procedure of execution of the orders. Therefore, it is suggested that it is essential to create a special agency to enforce the awards to enable the dependents to survive.
15. Victimology: It is suggested that it is essential to amend the Code in such a way providing for awarding of compensation in all desirable cases against the accused and the State by way of awarding compensation and rehabilitation to the victims by incorporating a separate provision.
After detailed discussions and the above suggestions, the Hon'ble Chairman of the Law Commission requested the participants to send the suggestions in writing giving the details, if necessary, by sending them to the Secretary, Law Commission of India, New Delhi, within fortnight. After conclusion of the discussions, the Director, A.P. Judicial Academy proposed vote of thanks and the meeting was concluded at 1.30 p.m.