The Bar Council of Delhi is advocating for the inclusion of representatives; from Bar Council of India and State Bar Councils in the Central Committee for Reforms in Criminal Law. Advocate K.C. Mittal, Chairman Bar Council of Delhi addressed a letter to the Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah for the same.
References to Past Incidents
The letter references to the Nirbhaya incident. It states that the laws are not protecting the weak and vulnerable section of our society; and the existing laws are failing to prevent such crimes and convict the offenders. Many substantial legislations took place but they proved “inconsequential to reduce crime.”
It notes the increasing number of cases; where the bodies are burnt in attempts to destroy evidences. The letter states that they are done to avoid conviction and delay trials.
Also, the killing of the four persons accused in the Hyderabad rape and murder in an “encounter”; and the celebration from the public shows how much the system has failed. “The rule of law does not permit street trials. In a civilized society, we cannot permit any system having no legal sanction.” The letter quotes a remark made by the Chief Justice of India, S.A. Bobde that “Justice loses its character if it becomes revenge.”
Public Anger and Discontentment
Public anger and discontent with existent systems is obvious from agitations and protests. The inefficient and careless attitude of police; is also responsible for the erosion of public confidence in the criminal justice system.
The letter draws attention to the Malimath Commission Report that made extensive recommendations; those are not implemented till now. “It’s high time when Government must take a call to revamp or change the system drastically,” the letter adds.
Framing laws require extensive brain storming to focus on expectations of public and society at large. Further, the system should function within legal parameters and tendencies to conduct street trials and media trials provide a significant challenge to rule of law.
However, the Council appreciates the government for the steps taken to review the criminal justice system and amend law substantially, to protect and safeguard people. It adds that mankind does not learn from the past mistakes such as Nirbhaya incident. Moreover, drastic improvements in procedural laws to provide effective preventive mechanism and conduct of fair and honest investigations are needed.
Request for Consulting BCI and State Bar Councils
The legal community in India has people having vast experiences in dealing with criminal laws and the Council requests for the inclusion of representatives from the Bar Council of India, the State Bar Councils. Such experts can also provide better inputs due to their vast experience.
During the course of court proceedings and discussion among the legal community, “many loopholes and lapses in law” are noticeable, “which is a cause for delay in dispensation of justice”, the letter also adds.
In conclusion, the Bar Council of Delhi hopes that if all such points are examined; with the help of the legal community during the drafting or amendment of the law comprehensively, it would prove to be very helpful.