DP Singh’s talk on ‘Criminal Justice in India – Police and Prosecution Reforms’
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The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised a talk on ‘Criminal Justice in India – Police and Prosecution Reforms’, delivered by Advocate DP Singh, who is also a visiting fellow at the VIF. The speaker touched upon the nuances of criminal justice procedures in India, by highlighting both the drawbacks and prospects via a comparative analysis with the international system.

The speaker commenced his talk by brining to light that there existed a mutual distrust between all stakeholders of the criminal justice system in India, which was where the problem lies, and hence the need for reforms. Advocate Singh opined that the way to move from a developing to a developed nation lay with the improvement in the legal system. He said that the challenges were because of the disparities between the development of our economic and scientific sectors as opposed to that of our legal system. Therefore there was a need to look into our laws.

Advocate Singh then explained that as compared to the other nations, in India the constabulary is the most abused. He also discussed the inconsistencies in the selection processes of the officers. He affirmed that the removal of these anomalies would not only strengthen the criminal justice system, but would also solve the problems of corruption, implementation and policy paralysis.

Advocate Singh observed that the problem lay with the arrests and the cost involved with the same. He brought to perspective that there were no debates, propagations, education and preparation for the society to deal with new laws and acts that are passed by the Government. He also stressed upon the fact that there was a paucity of lawyers dealing with the specialised facets of law in the system.

Advocate Singh then sought special focus on Terror Laws and the Information Age Crime Act. He said that the failure of terror cases lay in the fact that there was no communication between the agencies and that there existed a lack of admissible evidence. He also dwelled upon the reasons for the significantly low conviction rates in India.

The speaker concluded his talk by addressing the Information Age Crime Act. He reflected on his research that went into the drafting of the said Act. Drawing a comparison with the Information Technology Act, 2000, he said that the mentioned Act was to validate open commerce, and that there was a need for an Act specifically to deal with cyber crimes. Advocate Singh then mentioned that apart from chapters of data and associated crimes, a section was now added to the Information Age Crime Act to address the issues of sale of drugs and arms, and child pornography on the internet. He also emphasised that the Act was an open ended one and therefore it will survive the changes that technology will bring. He stressed on the fact that it was easy to identify the offences, but to give a structure that is complete in itself and gives very little scope for the courts and the police to go wrong, chapters have been added on evidence procurement and proof, and a detailed format prepared based on the same.

The talk was followed by an interactive Q and A session.

Event Date 
June 6, 2018

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