JUSTICE DELAYED IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDING

“Justice delayed is justice denied.” This line was written by William Ewart Gladstone (1809 – 1898). He was one of the greatest of English Politicians and also former British Prime Minister. This phrase now a days as right to speedy trial  flows

necessarily from Art.21 of the Constitution of India ;and so is  most debated aspect specially with respect to criminal law in India.

Every act considered as Crime is defined in Indian penal code and the procedure to its remedy id prescribed in code of criminal procedure. Both the authoritative data had many amendments namely criminal procedure code (amendment) act, 2005 and criminal law (amendment) act, 2005; looking to the changing society and its aspects the scope of crime is cannot be limited to a definition.

People’s faith in law for the wrong against them is now a days proved wrong by our judiciary, as we can see a lot many cases pending in our courts. Generally, delayed decisions take its maximum toll from the under privileged section as Poor section of our society When a judgement is delayed its worth in the eye of general people decline, its impact lower and effectiveness lessen. The efficiency of justice provided in criminal cases is mainly based on investigation and trial process; are the topics on which I will be researching upon.

The CrPC contains elaborate details about the procedure to be followed in every investigation, inquiry and trial, for every offence under the Indian Penal Code or under any other law. It divides the procedure to be followed for administration of criminal justice into three stages: namely investigation, inquiry and trial. This well expressed procedure sometimes may not benefit people as it ought to be. Something being legalitised doesn’t  mean it’s the right way to proceed. Nevertheless, criminal justice system although have loopholes still it works for the protection of society. Although there are many aspects of it but in my project I would look through this flaws and suggest how it can be filled so as to bring justice without delay and thus rebuilding general peoples trust in law and order.

 

 

METHODOLOGY

My research topic is justice delayed in criminal process.

I have used doctrinal method of research.  This method is more apt as my research topic is vast and general public has different philosophy and perceptions as to why justice is delayed in criminal process. We all believe there is no punishment without law but what if law itself is so lengthy that it takes years to give justice. Such a justice is so of no use. people may think a criminal remedy is based on deterrence theory based but on the other hand it’s the victim who actually suffer the pain and courts even don’t bother to focus on him. So in my project I would take up different philosophy and ideas relate them to cases and try to show the difference between what was done and what should have been done.

Source of research is mainly secondary source which include books and articles provide online and people’s views have been taken from different blogs and comments on some famous cases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1 : CHARGES

Charges are formed to notify the accused of all the crimes he is charged of. [1] But a statement of charge as we see is full of legal termonology. It doesn’t describe the act but just lay down secetions of IPC which are much complex to understand by a prident man. In this regard court in court in its Motion v. Shankroo[2]  said forming of such a charge amount to a breach of procedure. Also in Dal Chand v. State[3] the court said that any defect in charge vitiates the conviction is also not considered.

Sec. 216 deals with alteration or addition to charges where its sub section(4) shows how just a basic of criminal case that is forming of charge can delay case[4] it was laid down in Kantilal Chandulal Mehta v. State of Maharashtra[5] that when this section is invoked its states formality that the accused is informed and given full opportunity of defending himself so on and so for. Now its a question of humanity from thge point of view of the accused but agian with such clause a time factor needs to be there.

On the other hand, looking at the positive point in charges is sec. 220 i.e. joinder of charges its various sub sections precisely cover all aspects considering a lot many crimes in one trial; so as to lessen the number of cases lined up. But in some cases this is considered illegal as in Balbir v. State of Haryana[6] where in accused were charged of same and different offences which created a confusion in trial leading to the trial be incalculable.

Sec 223 also explains of all the possible person who can be charged and tried together. A notable clause in this regard in CrPC (Amendment) Act 2005.[7]

The last section of charges chapter is Sec.224 which deals with withdrawal by prosecution with courts permission of other charges once a person is convicted for one of the several charges. As India follows system of concurrent punishment this clause is of great importance. Nothing can be achieved by further arguing the case and wasting court’s time  after the justice is delivered in core sense.

 

 

CHAPTER 2 : TRAIL PROCESS

 

Type of trail is based on punishment offered in the act done. The core of all the  process is same with a minor changes.A public prosecutor who conducts the trial before the court open the case by describing the charges against the accused. Now if the grounds of charges are not sufficient the accused is discharged; as in Sunil Kumar Jha alias Bittu Jha v. State of Bihar [8]where in it was stated that the order of discharge should be supported by reasons. Later if the grounds  are sufficient the judge then frames charges. The charges now are to be explained to the accused. At this point the judges can transfer the case to cheif judicial magistrate or first class judicial magistrate[9]. If grounds on which charges are formed are not triable by his court.

To comment on the above process: its the court responsibility to frame charges on by not looking at the prosecution souly and prima facia case is made but also keeping in account material other than that. The trial then started which includes conviction on plea of guilty, prosecuting evidence, examination, cross-examination, defence, arguments followed by acquittal or conviction. In general public’s view these steps consumes alot of time but one who is acquintted with law surely knows that these are the essential steps for justice to be delivered.  So flaws in law under this subject matter are:-

In session trial sec 235(2) is newly added and was not in 1898 code. According to which conviction and sentence cannot be passed on the same day. this point is of no relevance as in the judge on the day of sentence will again revise the whole case and degree of act to decide on convicts punishment.   A case on this was State of Maharashtra v. Sukhdeo Singh[10] where in this section was not considered as accused had already confessed of murder and didont pray for lesser punishment.Once a person is already found guilty its just a unnecessary deal of stretching the case. Its justifies by saying that it provides equal opportunity to prosecution and convict to show there view point on question of sentence. But it can be the case that if found wrong it could be quashed  and  a new order can be passsedwith in one week of  the order.

Also a law i.e. sec 199(2) where court can take congnizance of defamation against president, vice-president and governor of state and union territory; but has to trial case by prodecure for the trial of warrant case.  Now this is sheer complexing the process. Now if the accused is acquitted here the appeallent needs to show why he should not compensate the accused. And the compensation is also not provided till period of appeal is lapsed and if appeal is made it is decide. Now this aspect of compensation is merely unreasonable. Providing compensation is also not the basic part of criminal law. A general public notion is that one should file a civil suit for it. Where the court will revise the case and all the legal formalities will be fulfilled. In my opinion it should be the discretion of the judge of the session court; on the base of the degree his harassment. Although the limit of compensation is not more than rs. 1000/- to be provided by the president, vice-president or the governor (whoever the appealent is) who are in a postion enough to provide this amount in this day. So to start a real process for this is another aspect for which court cases keep on pending.

In warrant case trial is divided in two types 1. Instituted on a police report 2. Instituted otherwise than on a police report.  Where the minor difference is in evidence of prosecution and discharge of accussed.  A good point in this is sec.249 according to which if the complainant is absent the accused is discharged, in accordance not to waste courts time.

Where as in summon case trial which is for petty cases; its a much liberal one. Forming of charges is not necessary. Unlike other trials plea of giulty is admissible in absence of accuse. Another intresting thing is sec.378(4) where in once the complaint is dismissed theplaintiff can appeal against the order of acquittal[11]. such an appeal is distingused on bases of judicial power. Where as some groundss of invoking such a section should also be prescribed so as to avoid over-crowding of cases.

As according to sec.259 the power of court to convert summon case into warrant case. Its a positive point as regard to justice is pertained. But a point here was that re-hearing of the case will be held in manner as in warrant case. Again for next two hearings the same procedure of plea of guilty, ground of charges will take place. To treat the case from the point it was changed toa  warranted case is a better option than to start it all over again.

 

 

Chapter3: OTHER REASONS

 

1.ADJOURNMENTS:- it is considered as an unethical practice of lawyers so as to extract money from clients or witness; which delay in judgement.

in Swaran Singh v. State of Punjab[12] the supreme court of India said that

“It is the game of unscrupulous lawyers to get adjournments for one excuse or the other till a witness is won over or is tired. Not only that a witness is threatened; he is abducted; he is maimed; he is done away with; or even bribed.In adjourning the matter without any valid cause a court unwittingly becomes party to miscarriage of justice”.To avoid this court needs to stricten the rules for adjournment. In sec 289 where adjournment of proceeding rule is given it states “ reasonable time” mere use of subjective words should be changed to proper specific time limit or substituted with other reasonable clauses.

 

  1. INADEQUATE NUMBER OF JUDGES:- with a large number of cases pending in court the ratio of it to that of judges available is very less. With each judge handling more cases as compare to what one should do its difficult to give the judgement fast. Keeping in mind that judiciary is an independent body we expect kustice from it that is implimented effectively.
  2. LARGE NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS MADE IN LAW:- CrPC was enated in 1973 and since then it has gone under alot many amnendments so as to fulfill presentt days need. It is latest amended in 2006 by the name “the criminal law (amendment) act,2005” Still the way it is followed strictly its important to make some minor amendments so that speedy trials become a reality.. not only this IPC and information technology act which have made a vast contribution in ciminal cases need to be revised so that again and gain changing of minor definations and section is avoided.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

As we see that many sections of criminal procedure code are instituted and amended keeping not to delay the justice in mind. Still its a long way to go for acheiveing this aim.but with lots of amendments and judges taking suo-moto actions it can be acheived easily. Though i have dealed with one aspect of this problem in my project still what is ought to be law and what is law difference is clear. Which sincerely shows that flaws in law is a unnecessary reason for cases being pending. What it needs is insight of advocates and judges to change it.

To end up i would like to qoute of Julia A F Cabney in “Little Things” was quoted by the Supreme Court judges Doraiswamy Raju and Arijit Pasayat while delivering their judgement on April 12 in the infamous Best Bakery riot case in Gujarat ie. Zahira Habibulla H. Sheikh v. state of gujrat[13]

 

“Little drops of
Water, little grains of sand
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land,
Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love
Help to make earth happy
Like the heaven above.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

  • Criminal Manual by Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd.
  • Criminal Justice: Philosophy and Perceptions by Malleswari V.B.
  • The process of criminal trial in India from 07 – No. 02 June 2008 — Special Report: Judicial Delays to Criminal Trials in Delhi
  • Justice delayed is justice denied by Das Pradeep Kumar
  • Justice delayed is justice denied by Miglani Deepak

[1]Mannalal, AIR (1987) Cal 478.

[2] Motion v. Shankroo, (1983) Cr LJ 63.

[3] Dal Chand v. State, (1982) Cr LJ 1477.

[4] if the alteration and addition is such that proceeding immediately with the trial is likely, in opinion of the court to prejudice the accused or the prosecutor as aforesaid, the court may either direct a new trial or adjourn the trial for such period as may be necessary.

[5] Kantilal Chandulal Mehta v. State of Maharashtra,AIR (1970) SC 359.

[6] Balbir v. State of Haryana ,AIR (2000) SC 11.

[7] the provision to section 223 provides that the Magistrate on an application of the accused persons may direct their joint trial even if they do not fall in the categories specified, if he is satisfied that such persons would not be prejudicially affected thereby. In the interest of prompt disposal of cases, scope of this proviso is being widened to enable the court of session also to hold such trials.

[8] Sunil Kumar Jha alias Bittu Jha v. State of Bihar, (1997) crimes 131 (pat.).

[9] CrPC (Amendment)Act, 2005 states that section 228has been amended to give discretion to the sessions judge to transfer a case either to the chief judicial magistrate or to any other judicial magistrate of the first class and to fix a date for the appearance of the accused before the chief  judicial magistrate or the judicial magistrate, as the case may be, so that a lot of time, which is wasted in summoning the accused by the Magistrate, may be saved.

[10] State of Maharashtra v. Sukhdeo Singh, AIR 1992 SC 2100.

[11] H.P. Agro Industries Coorporation Ltd. V. MPS Chawla, (1997)2 crimes 591.

[12] Swaran Singh v. State of Punjab,AIR( 2000) SC 2017.

[13]Zahira Habibulla H. Sheikh v. state of gujrat , 2004 CriLJ 2050.

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