PROCEDURAL REFORMS

Due to the Indian legal system’s adversarial nature, deficiency in the investigation or in the prosecution cannot be rectified by the judge, who is precluded from playing any active role in the trial of an accused. The underutilisation of provisions that empower judges to order the production of any document or examine any person, needless adjournments, arbitrary classification of offences, and the preclusion of any confession made to a police officer from being proved against the accused in a trial are some of the procedural complexities that hamper the speedy disposal of criminal cases. These delays lead to overcrowding in prisons, in which more than half of the prisoners are under trial prisoners. Similarly, excessive adjournments, multiplicity of appeals, underutilisation of existing provisions and poor classification and monitoring of cases are some of the reasons for enormous delays in civil cases. A foundation of a robust set of procedural rules, keeping pace with the ever-changing societies and nature of crime, is a prerequisite for an efficient and effective justice system.