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Report No. 37

II. Principles directed or decided upon to be followed

If reference be made to the direction issued by the Government and announced on August 5, 1955 to the Parliament when the Law Commission was constituted, it will appear that the principles on which revisions were to be made in the existing procedural law were:-

"Firstly to review the system of judicial administration in all its aspects and suggest ways and means for improving it and making it speedy and less expensive.

Enquiry into the system of judicial administration will be comprehensive and thorough including in its scope:-

(a) the operation and effect of laws, substantive as well as procedural, with a view to eliminating unnecessary litigation, speeding up the disposal of cases and making justice less expensive;

(b) the organisation of courts, both civil and criminal;

(c) recruitment of the judiciary; and

(d) level of the Bar and of legal education."

In the 14th Report of the Law Commission on the Reforms of Judicial Administration certain amendments among others as regards both the Civil Procedure Code and the Criminal Procedure Code were made. As pointed out in that Report for obvious reasons it could not enter into detailed examination of either of the Procedure Codes or the law of Evidence. It was then observed that the Commission would later on make recommendations in a comprehensive manner. It was further considered that before final consideration full implications of the amendments should be circulated to the State Governments for expression of opinion.

The Commission had then also considered that it would be advantageous to take up the revision of the Criminal Procedure Code and the relevant sections of the Evidence Act also simultaneously.

The normal practice in the Commission also in the past had been that either on a proposal for revision of an Act or of a particular topic referred to the Commission for opinion, the research staff under the Commission investigated the points, placed relevant materials properly arranged by the Secretary to the Commission and the Draftsman as a Draft Report. That Draft Report along with the materials on which such Draft was prepared were considered by the Commission as a whole in successive meetings. The Draft Report was then circulated amongst the Governments, High Courts and certain other bodies for expression of opinion on the Draft. Replies as received were tabulated and a final Report was drawn up on a consideration of the opinions received and further materials, as might be collected by the Commission staff and the whole-time Members.

In certain cases questionnaires were circulated for eliciting public opinion and such information was considered in detail before arriving at the final decision.

So far as procedure is concerned on the Criminal side, the Criminal Procedure Code is rightly considered to be one of the most important pieces of statutory provisions effecting the country as a whole in which not only the administration, different branches of public opinion, but ordinary citizens also are concerned. The procedure stated above was not followed in this case.

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Sections 1-176) Back

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