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Report No. 154

Memorandum of the Proceedings of the Legal Workshop on Criminal Law held at Kerala High Court on 20-12-1995

A workshop on Criminal Law was held at Kerala High Court on 20-12-95 at 3.30 p.m. The Hon'ble Judges of the Kerala High Court. Advocate-General, Additional Advocate-General Director of Public Prosecution, Additional Director of Public Prosecution, Director of Training and Registrar of the High Court and Senior Advocates amongst others were present in the workshop.

The following officials participated in the workshop:

1. Justice K.T. Thomas

2. Justice K.G. Balakrishnan

3. Justice K.S. Joseph

4. Justice K.K. Usha

5. Justice B.M. Tulsi

6. Justice T.V. Ramakrishnan

7. Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan•

8. Shri S. Narayanan

9. Justice N. Dhinkar

10. Justice B.N. Patnaik

11. Justice P. Shanmujam

12. Justice P.A. Mohammed

13. K.A. Abdul Salam, C.B.I. Retainer Counsel

14. C.S. Rajan, Secy., Indian Law Institute.

15. M.A.T. Rao, Advocate

16. Director of Training

17. Registrar

18. P.S. Divakaran, Registrar

19. M.V. Viswanathan, Addl. Director of Training

20. M.K. Damodaran

21. K.A. Mohamed Sherif, District Judge

22. B. Kamal Pasha, IInd cell District Judge EKM

23. D. Maharajan, Chief Judicial Magistrate EKM

24. M.N. Sukhnarayan

25. K.C. Peter

26. M. Rotric Singh

27. S.K. Devi

28. K.P. Dandapani

29. V.I. Joseph

30. S. Venkila Subramanayam

31. Mrs. Lilly Leslie, Additional Govt, Pleader Public Prosecutor, Ernakulam

32. G. Krishna Kumari, Senior Govt. Pleader.

33. Alan Papali

34. Salil Narayanan

35. P.G. Chacko

36. P.M. Saji

37. K. Mohan

38. George Verghese Kananthanam

39. V.N. Achuthan

40. T.R. Raman

41. T.V. Prabhakaran

42. Shyam P. Prabhu

43. Manoj K. John

44. Reji George

45. Shibu P. Pudussery

46. L.J. Suresh Babu

47. to 52. abstained

53. K.V. Vinod Kumar

54. K.S. Vipinan

55. M. Esakki Achari

56. M.R.G. Nair

57. Madam Pillai

58. S.R. Manoj

59. P.T. Girijan

60. P.R. Venkash

61. Pins. C. Mundadar

62. Jaleja Sreenivasan

63. Anu Srivaraman

64. P.V. Asha

65. Uma Gopinath

66. Asha Cherian

67. Kochiwol Koduvatahe

68. V.G. Sreedevi

69. K.V. Bhadra Kumari

70. Deepsur D. Jayan

71. V. Sithukuttyamme

72. M. Hemalathar

73. P.V. Kochuthreeh

74. Valslamma Kurian

75. B. Uma

76. Jaishri Sheba Jacob

78. Wilson John

79. Rani Joy

80. N. Saju Thomas

81. P.P. Peelhnimbnm

82. M.K. Shashi Kumar

83. S.K. Balachandran

84. V. Ram Kumar

85. Roy Chacko

86. N.A. Ganapati

87. Rajjeev V. Kurup

88. Sipy K. Joseph

89. T.R. Ramach

90. T. Sethumadhavan

91. Susheela R. Bhatt

92. Saju John

93. T.V. Ajay Kumar

94. Daisy A. Philipax

95. G. Hari Haran

96. V. Jayaprasad

97. M.T. George

98. Sajith Mathew Joy

99. Abhay Ahuja, Advocate, High Court, Bombay

100. A.V. Ravi Shankar

101. Vijaya Kumar, Secretary, Kerala State Legal Aid & Advice Board

102. Beelm Kurian Thomas

103. Rafaic Chennara

104. Sreekant

105. P.R. Shaji

106. P. Sanggary

107. Dheji P. Abraham

108. V.R. Ramachandran Nair

109. Jayaprasad, M.R.

110. Udaya Kumar, K.B.

111. Gangader, A.R.

112. Eldho Pant

113. Thomas Kunnathoor

114. E.M. Abdulkadir

115. Sanjay, T.

116. K.R. Rajkumar

117. Jose P. George

118. K.M. Paulose

119. G. Reyappan Pallon

120. P. Santhosh Kumar

121. O.D. Sivadas

122. Sunny Xavier

123. S.P. Chaly

124. Pramod, R.

125. A. Sathianaddan

126. A.S. Jose

127. Saigi Jacob

128. Biju M. John

129. P. Babu Kumar

130. M.N. Ravindran

131. V.K. Mohammed Yusuf, Advocate

132. Thomas T. Valance

133. Santhosh V.K.

134. Alex M.

135. A.M. Babu

136. Soyuj P.K.

137. P.C. Haridas

138. Bindu R.

139. Joseph K.

140. K. George.

The. Hon'ble Chairman of the Law Commission in his inaugural address and the participants. In the Presidential address the Hon'ble the Acting Chief Justice pointed out the relevancy in conducting the workshop on Criminal Law in which the Chairman, Law Commission of India is the Chief Guest especially when the Law Commission of India is collecting views from various quarters for making recommendations for amendment in the Criminal Procedure Code, the Indian Penal Code and the Evidence Act.

The Hon'ble Chairman of the Law Commission in his inaugural address initiating the discussion broadly outlined the areas in which amendments in the criminal law were proposed. The Hon'ble Chairman stated that there were complaints that section 41, Cr. P.C. was being misused. The question whether instead of arrest it is sufficient to take a bond from the accused or suspected persons for appearance is to be considered.

Another area was the use of the statements recorded under section 161, Cr. P.C. for corroboration and the use of such statements recorded by the police. There is a suggestion that signed statements may be obtained so that it can be used as evidence. Enlarging the scope for compounding of offences by adding the list of such compoundable offences under section 320, Cr. P.C. is another point for contemplation.

The Chairman. also invited suggestions regarding the proposal for a prosecuting agency independent from the investigating agency. Settlement of cases through Nyaya Panchayats and plea bargaining were also referred to the Chairman. The Chairman also 'stressed the need for making the provisions for summary trial effective. The Chairmah mentioned the proposal for a Victim Compensation Board as a new step in the branch of victimology.

Participating in the discussion, Shri N.N. Sukumaran Nayar, Senior Advocate emphasised that the power of authority under section 41, Cr. P.C. must be balanced with the fundamental rights of the citizens. Taking into consideration the social changes, drastic amendments must be made to the Criminal Procedure Code. Misuse of powers under section.41, Cr. P.C. by the investigating officers must be curbed.

Shri T.V. Prabhakaran suggested that sections 161 and 162, Cr. P.C. must be left untouched. It is necessary to record statements-under section 161, Cr. P.C. so that the defence will know the evidence that is likely to be adduced against the accused persons. He also stated that the provisions for compounding under section 320, Cr. P.C. must be taken in criminal legislation other than the Indian Penal Code also. The old provisions in the Cr. P.C. must be restored. Offences punishable with a limited period of imprisonment must generally be made compoundable.

Shri V.N. Achutha Kurup pointed that in many cases, the statements under section 161, Cr. P.C. were not truly and correctly recorded.

Shri Pirapoancode Sreedharan Nair suggested that statement under section 161, Cr. P.C. are necessary to know for what purpose a witness is cited.

Advocate Shri T.R. Raman Pillai suggested that investigation must be efficient and must be taken up by senior officers. They should not entrust the work to the subordinates. It will be advantageous if the investigating officers have discussions and consultations with the prosecutors. There must be provision for completing the trial within a time limit.

Advocate Shri M.K. Damodaran supported the proposition for a separate investigating agency. He, however, suggested that the eye-witnesses to the case must be produced before a Magistrate within two or three days of the incident and their statements must be recorded. There must be a separate Directorate of Public Prosecution and Public Prosecutors must be selected by the Court. He also pleaded that the provisions in section 206, Cr. P.C. must be liberally used in petty cases.

The doyen of the Bar, Advocate Shri Kunhirama Menon suggested that committal proceedings can be done away with. If petty cases are made over to honorary magistrate courts, the time spent for calling such cases in the regular courts can be utilised for trial of contended cases. Shri Kunhirama Menon also suggested that sections 307 and 308, Cr. P.C. be suitably amended so that there will be no need to examine the approvers and permit them to be cross-examined before tendering pardon.

Smt. Suseela Bhat championing the cause of women wanted maintenance amount under section 125, Cr. P.C. to be enhanced. She also suggested that a time limit must be fixed for disposal of maintenance cases. Stay of execution of maintenance orders must be granted only on condition of deposit of the amount and there must be provision in the statute itself for the purpose. Adjournments should be granted in maintenance cases only on payment of cost.

Shri Ratna Singh, Director-General of Prosecutions explained the steps taken by the Directorate to expedite trial of case. He pointed out that petty cases consume a lot of court's time and it should be avoided. When the main witnesses are hostile the prosecutor himself must have the discretion to give up the remaining witnesses and cut short the trials. He also suggested that the investigating agency must be separate from the prosecuting agency. He advocated shorter questioning under section 313, Cr. P.C., section 206, Cr. P.C. provisions must be liberally used. He also suggested that the evidence under section 138, N.I. Act must be made compoundable.

Registrar of the High Court Shri K.V. Sankaranarayanan extended vote of thanks to all the participants of the workshop. The workshop was over by 6 p.m.

The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 Back

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