New Delhi (ABC Live): Judicial Reforms India : Indian Judiciary is facing procedural obstacles in deciding the cases and Parliament has tried to else these procedural obstacles by amending existing procedural laws.
The Proper implementation of procedural laws A series of provisions have been introduced in procedural laws to enable the expeditious disposal of criminal and civil cases.
Judicial Reforms India through include, amendment of Section 309, CrPC to discourage unnecessary adjournments, Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 says, “Section 309 – Power to postpone or adjourn proceedings. 1.In every inquiry or trial the proceedings 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;
Provided that when the inquiry or trial relates to an offence under section 376, section 376A, section 376B, section 376C or section 376D of the Indian Penal Code, the inquiry or trial shall, as far as possible be completed within a period of two months from the date of filing of the charge sheet.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:
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.
Provided also that –
- no adjournment shall be granted at the request of a party, except where the circumstances are beyond the control of that party;
- the fact that the pleader of a party is engaged in another Court, shall not be a ground for adjournment;
- where a witness is present in Court but a party or his pleader is not present or the party or his pleader though present in Court, is not ready to examine or cross-examine the witness, the Court may, if thinks fit, record the statement of the witness and pass such orders as it thinks fit dispensing with the examination-in-chief or cross-examination of the witness, as the case may be.
- 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.
- The terms on which an adjournment or postponement may be granted in include, in appropriate cases, the payment of costs by the prosecution or the accused.”
Further Judicial Reforms India via amendment of Section 320, CrPC to rationalise the list of compoundable offences; 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; 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;