Report No. 154
Memorandum of proceeding of the Workshop by Law Commission of India, Held on 9th December, 1995 in the Judges' Library, High Court, Allahabad
For considering the amendment in the Code of Criminal Procedure with a view to streamline administration of criminal justice a Workshop was organised in the Judges' Library, High Court, Allahabad on 9th December, 1995 at 10.00 A.M. The Workshop was presided, over by Hon'ble K. Jayachandra Reddy, Chairman, Law Commission and Hon'ble Judges of the High Court, including the Hon'ble Chief Justice, Lawyers, Police Officers and Professor of Law in the University of Allahabad and members of Registry participated in the Workshop. A questionnaire was also circulated amongst them earlier at the instance of the Law Commission.
The following were present:
1. Hon'ble Mr. A. Lakshmana Rao, Chief Justice, Allahabad High Court.
2. Mr. Justice K. Jayachandra Reddy, Chairman, Law Commission of India.
3. Hon'ble Mr. Justice V.N. Khare, Judge, Allahabad High Court.
4. Hon'ble Mr. Justice Palok Basu, Judge, Allahabad High Court.
5. Hon'ble Mr. Justice Girdhar Malaviya, Judge, Allahabad High Court.
6. Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.B. Srivastava, Judge, Allahabad High Court.
7. Hon'ble Mr. Justice G.S.N. Tripathi, Judge, Allahabad High Court.
8. Hon'ble Mr. Justice Kundan Singh, Judge, Allahabad High Court.
9. Hon'ble Mr. Justice N.B. Ashthana, Judge, Allahabad High Court.
10. Hong)le Mr. Justice S.N. Sahai (Retd.), Chairman, State Law Commission.
11. Prof. (Mrs.) Alice Jacob, Member Law Commission.
12. Mr. Ch. Prabhakara Rao, Member-Secretary, Law Commission.
13. Prof. S.C. Srivastava, Joint-Secretary & Law Officer, Law Commission.
14. Mr. Justice I. Panduranga Rao, former Judge, A.P. High Court and presently Chairman, Special Court under Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, Hyderabad.
15. Sri A.D. Giri, Advocate High Court, Allahabad.
16. Sri. D.S. Mishra, Advocate, High Court, Allahabad.
17. Sri P.N. Mishra, Advocate, High Court, Allahabad.
18. Sri Jagdish Singh Sengar, Advocate, High Court, Allahabad.
19. Sri Vijay Shanker Mishra, Advocate, High Court, Allahabad.
20. Sri Syed Farman Zaqvi, Additional Government Advocate, High Court, Allahabad.
21. Sri Gopal Chaturvedi, Advocate, High Court, Allahabad.
22. Sri Dilip Gupta, Advocate, High Court, Allahabad.
23. Dr. A.K. Saxena, Prof. Dean & Head of Law Faculty, Allahabad University, Allahabad.
24. Dr. Rakesh Khanna, Professor, Allahabad University, Allahabad.
25. Sri O.P. Garg, District Judge, Allahabad.
26. Sri M.L. Singhal, Director, Judicial Training Research Institute, U.P.
27. Sri Ashok Kumar Srivastava, Additional District Judge, Allahabad.
28. Sri A.N. Mittal, Special Chief Judicial Magistrate, Allahabad.
29. Sri Daya Shanker Pandey, District Government Counsel (Criminal) Allahabad.
30. Sri Devi Prasad Tripathi, Senior Public Prosecuting Officer, Civil Court, Allahabad.
31. Sri Chandra Gupta, District Government Counsel (Criminal), Allahabad.
32. Dr. D.V. Mehta, Additional Director-General, Police Head Quarter, Allahabad.
33. Sri Ramesh Sehgal, Deputy Inspector-General, Police Head Quarter, Allahabad.
34. Sri A.B. Lal, Deputy Inspector-General, Housing and Welfare, Police Head Quarter, Allahabad.
35. Sri H.P. Shukla, Deputy Inspector-General. Railways, Allahabad.
36. Sri P.C. Singh, Deputy Inspector-General, Vigilance, Allahabad.
37. Sri V.K. Tewari, Superintendent of Police, Railways, Allahabad.
38. Sri Jagmohan Yadav, Commandant, P.A.C. 42 Battalion, Allahabad.
39. Sri A.P. Maheshwari, Superintendent of Police, S.I.B., Coop., Lucknow.
40. Sri Khem Karan, Secretary/Legal Remembrancer, U.P.
41. Sri N.S. Gahlot, Registrar, Allahabad High Court.
42. Sri J.C. Gupta, Vigilance Officer, High Court, Allahabad.
43. Members of Registry.
After the welcome address by Hon'ble the Senior Judge Mr. Justice V.N. Khare, Hon'ble Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court Mr. Justice A.L. Rao delivered the introductory lecture wherein he emphasised how fair and speedy justice can be achieved in criminal cases after enumerating the procedure for grant of bail to the accused pending investigation/trial which, according to him, should be the rule of law. Hon'bie the Chief Justice elaborated that the investigation should be commensurate to the fundamental rights of individual liberty and freedom enshrined in Article 21 of the Con 2 the Police to arrest the accused in each and every cognizable case without intervention of the court.
Hon'ble the Chief Justice also emphasised that there should be an independent authority which should conduct the prosecution objectively and independently free from influence and restraints of the investigating agency.
His Lordship also said that all efforts should be made to eliminate the inordinate delay in the disposal of the cases for which purpose he laid emphasis on the fact that there should be proper service of summons to the witnesses and trial of petty cases should be entrusted to the panchayats. He also laid emphasis on extending the scope of compoundable offences and urged that in suitable cases notice should be sent to the accused asking to remit specified amount of fine without attending the Court. The result of the cases should be promptly communicated to the accused as also to the concerned parties including investigating/prosecuting agency.
In his keynote address Hon'ble Mr. Justice K. Jayachandra Reddy, Chairman of the Law Commission impressed that the speedy trial is guaranteed by the Constitution and with that end in view the Law Commission is considering suitable amendment in the Code of Criminal Procedure. His Lordship pointed out that there are four agencies involved in the criminal trial i.e. (i) Investigating agency: (ii) Prosecution; (iii) Defence counsel and (iv) Court.
The Hon'ble Chairman expressed the view that the investigating agency should be separate from the rest of the police wing dealing with law, order and security. His Lordship expressed concern over delay in the disposal of the cases as a result of which many a times a prisoner languishes in prison for longer time during trial than the period for which he is otherwise sentenced. In the circumstances the power conferred upon the police for arresting an accused for cognizable offence should be suitably curtailed.
His lordship suggested amendment in the Code and the Evidence Act so as to make the statement under section 161, Cr. P.C. admissible in evidence. Provision should also be made for compounding of petty offences at the investigation stage. He also suggested the Workshop to consider the proposal for bargaining for lesser sentence by pleading guilty at the stage of framing charge and/or initiation of the proceedings.
In order to make the prosecuting agency efficient and objective his Lordship suggested that there should be regular cadre of prosecuting agency headed by Director of prosecution. Separate courts should be established for trial in the cases of custodial deaths and atrocities on women. He also suggested for enlarging the scope of Nyaya Panchayat in the matter of administration of justice.
Some of the aforesaid participants in the discussion have already given their views in writing to the Secretary, Law Commission through Shri Alok Kumar Singh, Additional Registrar and some of the writes-up are being enclosed with this memorandum.
The substance of the discussion held during the course of the Workshop may be summed up as follows:-
Speedy trial commensurate with justice should be the keynote for any amendment in the Criminal Procedure Code, Indian Penal Code and the Evidence Act. Provisions should be made so that investigation of the offence should be entrusted to a separate wing of the police headed by a Director of Investigation. This wing of the police should deal with the investigation of the offence right from the stage of lodging of report to the submission of the charge-sheet.
Provision should also be made to avoid indiscriminate and unnecessary arrest of the accused in each and every cognizable offence. The arrest should be resorted to only where offender is likely to abscond and/or repeat the crime.
Except in heinous offence like murder, dacoity etc., punishable with death or imprisonment for life, grant of bail should be rule rather than exception.
There should be a separate wing of prosecution under Director of Prosecution. It should be independent from investigating agency and deal with cases in an objective and independent manner with a view to assist the court in imparting real justice.
Some of the speakers also emphasised on the role of the court in the matter of speedy trial. It was urged that the trial should proceed day to day until concluded. All efforts should be made to ensure attendance of the witnesses on the date fixed. The evidence of the formal witnesses should be recorded on affidavits which should be submitted along with the charge-sheet. System of bargaining for lesser sentence by pleading guilty by the accused at the commencement of the trial may be introduced. The compounding of the offences may be encouraged and there should also be provision for awarding compensation to the victim of an offence.
The speakers also laid emphasis on making use of modern scientific inventions such as video camera, computers etc. It was urged that the investigation may commence even before the first information report is lodged and the investigating agency with the aid of the video camera may take photographs of the scene of the occurrence and of other material evidence on the spot.
Some of the participants also suggested for imparting training to the investigating/prosecuting staff and also the presiding Judges of the Court in order to improve the efficiency and performance.
In the end the Hon'ble Chief Justice of the High Court thanked the participants for their valued suggestions and requested them to send their views in writing to enable the Law Commission to make use of the same while affecting amendment in the Criminal Procedure code and other ancillary laws.
The proceedings of the Workshops were conducted by Shri Alok Kumar Singh, Additional Registrar of the Allahabad High Court.