Conclusion Introduction In general, the term bail means the temporary release of an accused person on a temporary basis. As the term bail has been derived from the French word bailer which means to deliver or to give. The term bail has been used for a long time. As defined in the oxford dictionary bail is the absolution of an accused person temporarily awaiting the trial or a sum of money is lodged by the accused person as a guarantee for his appearance in the court.
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This has been a portrayal of the state of the criminal justice system in the country. The Malimath Committee was hence set up to cure the system of the plague of inefficiency. Though the recommendations were never acted on, the recent developments have attracted multifaceted reactions. The committee report was discussed in a conference in Telengana where PM Modi was present.
Further, media has also suggested that the center might be revisiting the recommendations of the Committee. With this entire buzz around the Malimath Committee Recommendations, here is an overview of everything you need to know.
What is the Criminal Justice System? This includes Police officers, judges, lawyers, prison officials, probation officers, etc. The criminal justice system of a country plays an important role. It maintains law and order, prevents the occurrence of crime, compensates victims, and punishes criminals.
Hence, it is very important to have a corruption free and efficient criminal justice system. The judiciary is overburdened and has failed in providing speedy justice and deterring crime.
Further, due to this, a large number of guilty go unpunished. The criminal justice system plays a significant role in up keeping the trust of the general public on the law of the land. An ineffective, corrupt, and incapable Criminal Justice System does the opposite. Investigation procedure and conflicting results have often been noticed.
In cases like the Aarushi Talwar double murder case, the court has not been able to convict the guilty due to unscientific and inefficient procedures of investigation. The crime world is constantly evolving.
New forms of committing crime have emerged with technology, and the justice system has to keep up. We live in an evolving world and cannot be stuck with old norms and laws require constant updating. The caretakers of law like the police require adequate training and accountability for performance. Subjectivity and professionalism of judges must be relooked. Prosecutors are underpaid, and trial courts are often accused of adjournment without any reason. All of this calls for a reformation in the system.
The objective of the Committee was to examine the fundamental principles of law and recommend ways to reform the criminal justice system to restore public confidence injustice. It submitted its report in The report has recommendations, most of which was never applied. Major Recommendations The Committee recommended borrowing from the inquisitorial system of Germany where a judicial magistrate oversees the investigation. It was also in favor of the court has the power to summon anyone as a witness listed or not.
The panel wanted to ensure that the rights of the accused are well known and printed in regional languages along with information on whom to contact in case of denial of these rights. Further, the Committee wanted to modify Article 20 3 of the constitution to allow the court to elicit information from the accused. SP in each district to organize crime data, organize special squads, and maintain the quality of investigation.
It also suggested the creation of a new post — The Director of Prosecution at the state level to ensure that there is coordination between the investigating team and the prosecuting officers. The current ratio of population per judge is Hence, the Committee was in favor of the National Judicial Commission having guidelines on qualifications, experience, etc. It also batted for a separate criminal division in higher courts with judges specialized in criminal law.
The Committee was also in favor of reducing the number of holidays by 21 days. It also suggested punishing false witness to mislead the court by up to 3 months of jail or a fine or both. It also batted for a victim compensation fund under the victim compensation law and assets confiscated from organized crime was to be used here to provide justice and aid to victims.
The Committee emphasized the need for a central law on organized crime and terrorism even though crime is a state subject. One of its recommendations in this regard was to punish possession of automatic, semiautomatic, or lethal weaponry with a ten year prison sentence.
The panel also recommended replacing the death penalty with a life sentence without remission. Accepted Recommendations Over time, a few recommendations of the Malimath Committee were included. Stricter punishments in grievous crimes like rape were also introduced. The Committee made a series of recommendations in regards to providing justice to victims.
Though all of it was not implemented, victim compensation is now part of the law. Almost obsolete laws were removed. The government has also approved for a scheme to implement the objective of modernization of police forces.
Controversial Recommendations The Committee recommended lowering the standard of proof in the court of law. It means that if the prosecution convinces the court that it is true, it is considered true. This recommendation was accused as an illogical attempt to increase conviction rates. It also suggested increasing the custodial period granted to police from 15 to 30 days. In a country where the criminal justice system is often accused of torture, custodial deaths, and fake encounters, there was no surprise when this suggestion attracted criticisms.
Appreciation The Malimath committee was widely appreciated for its other recommendations, and many of them were considered revolutionary. Its suggestions in providing justice to the victim of crimes can be the first step in undoing the wrongs faced by them. The idea of witness protection was widely approved. The Committee batted for an efficient witness protection system and suggested that the judge must be willing to step in if a witness is being harassed during cross examination.
Further, better facilities must be provided to witnesses. The Arrears Eradication scheme was also seen as important. The scheme was to tackle cases which were pending for more than two years in Lok Adalats on a priority basis with day to day hearing. The Committee was lauded for its victim-friendly approach. Criticisms One of the major criticisms the Committee faced was that it was biased towards victims. Various steps recommended were for the right of the victims, but very few recommendations spoke about issues like torture or custodial deaths of accused.
The Indian Legal System is based on tenets of justice which gave some rights to the accused as well. These are often considered not compromisable. Further, revamping the criminal justice system should not mean undermining principles on which justice works. The two controversial recommendations were seen as problematic at various levels. The report is also accused of increasing the burden on the court through its reforms, thus making it more ineffective.
Further, the report has not included various important facets of the matter. A huge population does not have access to the judicial system, and this has been ignored. Measures for speedy trials and relief for under trial population was not mentioned. Though crimes against women have been addressed, crimes again Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has been ignored.
Before taking any major decision, the government needs to hold debates and discussions with all stakeholders, including senior police officers, judges, etc. There are some recommendations which can undeniably revolutionize the criminal justice system, whereas a few recommendations are feared to undermine the principles of justice. The best way to handle this would be to indulge in block implementation of recommendations from the most necessary ones to the least instead of completely ignoring the report.
Malimath Committee report : Important Topics for UPSC Exams
Malimath Committee report Law should not stumble, in a way that those who defy it go free and those who seek its protection lose hope. Why in News? Recommendations of the committee are being revisited by the central Govt. As the law and order problem in the country is deteriorating and crimes are increasing in all spheres be it against Women, Cyber, Economic Crime, or organised crimes. The Malimath committee gave recommendations but these were not implemented by the successive govt. Criminal Justice System in India Criminal justice system is more than years old in India and it need to be reviewed as the type of crime has changed with the use of technology and other aspects. Objective of the Malimath Committee Malimath committee was established to propose reform in the criminal Justice System and constitutional provisions related to it.
Topic of the Day - Malimath Committee
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