New Delhi (ABC Live) :Judicial Reforms India :The parliament of India has enacted a series of provisions to introduced in procedural laws to enable the expeditious disposal of criminal and civil cases.
The First Judicial Reforms India which India needs is the Strict Compliance of Procedural Laws, these include, amendment of Section 309, CrPC to discourage unnecessary adjournments which says, “309. Power to postpone or adjourn proceedings.
(1) In every inquiry or trial, the proceedings shall be held as expeditiously as possible, and in particular, when the examination of witnesses has once begun, the same shall be continued from day to day until all the witnesses in attendance have been examined, unless the Court finds the adjournment of the same beyond the following day to be necessary for reasons to be recorded.
(2) If the Court, after taking cognizance of an offence, or commencement of trial, finds it necessary or advisable to postpone the commencement of, or adjourn, any inquiry or trial, it may, from time to time, for reasons to be recorded, postpone or adjourn the same on such terms as it thinks fit, for such time as it considers reasonable, and may by a warrant remand the accused if in custody:
Provided that no Magistrate shall remand an accused person to custody under this section for a term exceeding fifteen days at a time: Provided further that when witnesses are in attendance, no adjournment or postponement shall be granted, without examining them, except for special reasons to be recorded in writing: 1 Provided also that no adjournment shall be granted for the purpose only of enabling the accused person to show cause against the sentence proposed to be imposed on him.]
Explanation 1.- If sufficient evidence has been obtained to raise a suspicion that the accused may have committed an offence, and it appears likely that further evidence may be obtained by a remand, this is a reasonable cause for a remand. Explanation 2.- The terms on which an adjournment or postponement may be granted include, in appropriate cases, the payment of costs by the prosecution or the accused.”
Further amendment of Section 320, CrPC to rationalise the list of compoundable offences; Also insertion of a new Chapter XXIA on plea bargaining; insertion of Section 436A for release of undertrial prisoners who have undergone half of the maximum imprisonment; This provision says, “Insertion of new section 436A.- After section 436 of the principal Act, the following section shall be inserted, namely:-” 436A. Maximum period for which an undertrial prisoner can be detained.- Where a person has, during the period of investigation, inquiry or trial under this Code of an offence under any law (not being an offence for which the punishment of death has been specified as one of the punishments under that law) undergone detention for a period extending up to one- half of the maximum period of imprisonment specified for that offence under that law, he shall be released by the Court on his personal bond with or without sureties: Provided that the Court may, after hearing the Public Prosecutor and for reasons to be recorded by it in writing, order the continued detention of such person for a period longer than one- half of the said period or release him on bail instead of the personal bond with or without sureties: Provided further that no such person shall in any case be detained during the period of investigation, inquiry or trial for more than the maximum period of imprisonment provided for the said offence under that law. Explanation.- In computing the period of detention under this section for granting bail, the period of detention passed due to delay in proceeding caused by the accused shall be excluded.”.
And amendments to Sections 161(3), 164 and 275 of CrPC to allow use of audio / video technology in criminal cases. In case of civil trials, relevant amendments to the CPC include provisions to impose limit on the number of adjournments that may be granted to each party to three times and imposition of costs for adjournments; allowing service of summons using email, fax, speed post, courier services or directly through the plaintiff; providing for dismissal of suit where summons are not served in consequence of plaintiffs’ failure to pay costs; and limiting the time limit for filing of written statement by the defendant.