New criminal laws need strong infrastructure to bring change, says DY Chandrachud

Chief Justice DY Chandrachud on Saturday said that India’s three new criminal laws need to be accompanied with investments in infrastructure and capacity building “as soon as possible” if they are to bring about a positive change in the criminal justice system, reported Live Law.

Chandrachud was speaking at a conference in New Delhi – “India’s Progressive Path in the Administration of Criminal Justice System” – organised by the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The three new criminal bills had been passed by Parliament in December and will take effect on July 1. The Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita will replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita will replace the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bills will replace the Indian Evidence Act.

On Saturday, Chandrachud said that the new laws “signify a watershed moment for our society” and create provisions that are “synchronised to our times”. However, the infrastructure accompanying the legislation needs to be adequately developed “for the country to reap the benefits”, he said.

“This naturally means that we must heavily invest in capacity building of our forensic experts, conduct training of investigating officers, and invest in our court system,” the chief justice said. “Key provisions of the new criminal law would only produce a positive impact if these investments are made as soon as possible.”

Chandrachud referred to a provision in the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023, that ensures the completion of criminal trials within three years and the delivery of judgments within 45 days of reserving them.

He said that this guarantee may become “merely directory and unimplementable” if the court infrastructure and the prosecution lack material resources to harness technology and conduct an efficient and speedy trial”.

The chief justice also pointed out that the new laws mandate audio-visual recordings of search and seizures operations, along with the presence of forensic experts at crime scenes.

“Very often in courts, we hear sordid stories about what happened in the course of search and seizure operations, particularly under the Income Tax Act,” he said. “The audio-visual recording of search and seizures…would safeguard the rights of citizens against procedural impropriety.”

The chief justice also said that it is crucial to enhance the capacity of police forces to deal with increasing instances of digital crime. He said that there is a need to enhance investigations with multi-disciplinary teams that include law enforcement officers along with experts in cybercrime and pattern recognition.

“I expect that with the implementation of the new criminal laws, we will discover loopholes and areas which need to be addressed,” he said.

While introducing the three new bills in Parliament in August, Union home minister Amit Shah said that they would “end three colonial laws” currently governing India’s criminal justice framework, and provide criminal laws “by Indians, for Indians”.

However, the new laws drastically increase the power of the state to collect personal data and seize property and make it more difficult to secure bail and file first information reports. They also make punishments more stringent for crimes such as lynching, endangering national security and terrorism.

The Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, 2023, defines terrorism as “any act with the intent to threaten or likely to threaten the unity, integrity, sovereignty, security, or economic security of India or with the intent to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or in any foreign country”.

Also read:

Crime Today News | INDIA

Source | Powered by Yes Mom Hosting

Crime Today News

Welcome to Crime Today News, your trusted source for timely and unbiased news coverage. Since our inception in 2014, we have been dedicated to delivering the latest updates to our valued readers and viewers across Telangana.

Related Posts