NHRC core group expresses ‘serious concerns’ over slow pace of reforms in criminal justice system to ensure speedy justice

New Delhi [India]: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) India on Wednesday organised the first meeting of Core Group on Criminal Justice System that expressed “serious concerns over the slow pace of reforms in the criminal justice system to ensure speedy justice”.
It was felt that delays in disposal of cases result in human rights violations of both the under-trials and convicted prisoners and others related to the cases, read the release by the NHRC. Chairing the meeting, Justice M M Kumar said that policing is important in speedy trials in criminal justice system. He said that despite so many efforts, including the Supreme Court directions seeking police reforms, the ground reality hasn’t changed much.
He added that crowding of complaints at every police station can be reduced if certain offences in IPC are replaced with special laws and fast track courts are created to clear the pendency.
Making a brief interjection, Justice A K Mishra, Chairperson, NHRC said that the digitisation of documents will help in speedy investigation and trials. He said that not only the delayed trials but also the implementation of courts’ orders convicting a person takes years, which is a matter of rights violation.
Earlier, Dr D M Mulay, Member, NHRC said that poor conviction rate is a result of the lack of required police and administrative reforms. He said that there is also shortage of judges.
Setting the agendas for deliberations, Bimbadhar Pradhan, Secretary General, NHRC said that as per an estimate, there are about 4.4 crore pending cases across the Supreme Court, High Courts and District Courts.
Since March 2020, about 70 lakh more cases have been added to the pending cases, read the release.
He said that in the Criminal Justice System, the focus needs to be tilted more towards the victim’s rights and smart policing.
Santosh Mehra, DG, Investigation, NHRC said that the shortage of police personnel at various police stations in proportion to the population needs to be considered on priority in the interest of ensuring timely justice to the people.

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