Tuesday, May 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bill putting justice on fast track passed

New Delhi, May 13
Parliament today approved the long-awaited Bill seeking to put justice on the fast track with government promising speedy judicial reforms to reduce delay and cost in justice delivery mechanism.

The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2000, which was passed by a voice vote by the Lok Sabha, visualises radical changes like pronouncement of judgement within 30 days of completion of hearing, allowing Commissioners to record evidence and providing for written statements by accused persons.

Expressing concern over two crore cases pending in lower courts and 35 lakh in high courts, Law Minister Arun Jaitley said criminal cases forming about two-thirds of litigation in lower courts were a major cause of worry as conviction rate in such serious offences was only about 6 per cent.

“There is a need for serious introspection as over 94 per cent of serious criminal cases result in acquittal.

We have to seriously introspect and find out what is wrong with our criminal justice system,” he said, adding that a committee as well as the Law Commission were examining the matter.

The Bill, already passed by the Rajya Sabha on May 8, replaces a 1999 legislation which was not enforced due to widespread opposition from bar councils.

Mr Jaitley said the government was trying to speed up disposal of pending cases before subordinate courts through various legislative measures and the Bill was a part of that effort.

He said the committee, reviewing the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), was going around the country and was likely to submit its recommendations by the year-end. PTI


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