Dec 27, 2017
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What are the changes proposed in the original Criminal Procedure Code to speed up criminal trials?

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Changes proposed in the original Criminal Procedure Code to speed up criminal trials

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 came into force on  1st April, 1974. It gives machinery for the investigation of crime,  harm of criminals, collection of evidence, determination of mens rea or innocence of the accused and the determination of punishment of the guilty. It also deals with public nuisance, prevention of offences and maintenance of wife, child and parents.

Law commission and its report

Code of criminal procedure is applicable to all criminal proceedings in India (except those in the States of Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland the Tribal Areas in Assam). It extends to whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland. The central governments has amended the Act from time to time. Two important amendments were of 1923 and 1955. The amendment of 1955 was extensive and intention was to simplify procedure and also facilitate speedy disposal trails. In addition, State amendments also brought about separation of judiciary power from executive one. Apart from these amendments, the provisions of the Code of 1898 have remained practically unchanged. No attempt made comprehensively to change the old code till Central Law Commission was set up in 1955.
The first Law Commission  formed in 1955. It presented its first Report (the Fourteenth Report) on the Reformation of both civil and criminal in 1958. It made some recommendations relating to criminal procedure, which required amendments to code. A systematic evaluation of code undertaken by commission for not only giving recommendations but also for attempting general revision.

Mainly, commission formed to suggest ways to remove the confusion between the conflicting Judgements of High courts, ways to secure and maintain uniformity, to consolidate law, and also to suggest improvement wherever possible. Law commission presented a comprehensive report for revision of the Code. It was Forty-first report. The report contained recommendations made in earlier reporst of commission.

Some more important recommendations made for speedy disposal of the criminal Trials:

  1. the initial or preliminary inquiry which was done before the trial, is eliminated for the Act as it used to cause delay in trial.
  2.  provisions for adoption of summons procedure for the trial of offences punishable with imprisonment up to two year as at present; this would enable a larger number of cases disposed of expeditiously;
  3. the scope of summary trials now expanded by including offences punishable with imprisonment up to one year as at present;
  4. summons procedure adopted for all summary trials;
  5. the power to revise interlocutory orders, eliminated as it was time consuming;
  6. the provision made for not entertaining cases by subordinate court on the mere intimation from a party of his intention to move a higher Court;
  7.  a further provision  made that the Court trying the transfer application shall not stay proceedings unless necessary to do so in the interest of justice;
  8.  adjournments cost should paid by party obtaining such order;
  9. provision made for the service of summons by registered post in certain cases;
  10. in petty cases, the accused enabled to plead guilty by post and to remit the fine specified in the summons;
  11. a Court of appeal or revision finds that there is any error, omission or irregularity in judgement or unable provide justice then it need not necessarily order retrial;
  12. the facility of part-heard cases continued by successors-in-office now available in respect of Courts of Magistrates is extended to Courts of Session.
Article Categories:
Criminal law

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