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Committee on Reforms of
Criminal Justice System
Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs

Report
VOLUME I

INDIA
March 2003

Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System
Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs
CHAIRMAN
Dr. Justice V.S. Malimath
Formerly, Chief Justice of Karnataka and Kerala High Courts
Chairman, Central Administrative Tribunal
Member, National Human Rights Commission
Bangalore 560 052
MEMBERS
S. Varadachary, IAS, (Retd.)
Bangalore 560 076

Amitabh Gupta, IPS, (Retd.)
Formerly, Director General of Police, RAjasthan
Jaipur 302 015

Prof. (Dr.) N.R. Madhava Menon
Vice-Chancellor
West Bengal National University Of Juridical Sciences
Kolkatta 700 098

D.V. Subba Rao
Advocate
Chairman, Bar Council of India
Vishakhapatnam

MEMBER –SECRETARY
Durgadas Gupta
Joint Secretary
Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India
New Delhi 110 011

STAFF OF THE COMMITTEE
Sri C.M. Basavarya
Formerly, District & Sessions Judge,
Registrar & Director of Training,
High Court of Karnataka.
Bangalore 560 094.

Executive Director

Sri K. Girither
Inspector
Central Reserve Police Force

Personal Assistant

Smt Binnu Menon
Sub Inspector
Central Reserve Police Force

Stenographer

Sri S.M. Reddy
Asst. Sub-Inspector
Central Reserve Police Force

Clerk

Sri V. Raja
Constable
Central Reserve Police Force
Office Attender
Sri M.K. Uthaiah
Constable
Central Reserve Police Force

Office Attender

Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System
(Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs)
12/A Diagonal Road
Vasanthanagar
Bangalore 560 052

“Everything has been said already, but as no one listens, we must always begin again.”
Andre Gide
French thinker and writer

CONTENTS
PART – I
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Need for Reform of the Criminal Justice System
Adversarial System
Right to Silence
Rights of the Accused
Presumption of Innocence and Burden of Proof
Justice to Victims

3
23
39
59
65
75

PART – II
INVESTIGATION
7.

Investigation

8.

87

Prosecution

PROSECUTION
125
PART – III
JUDICIARY
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.

Courts and Judges
Trial Procedure
Witness and Perjury
Vacation for Court
Arrears Eradication Scheme

133
145
151
157
163
PART – IV
CRIME & PUNISHMENT

14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.

Offences, Sentences, Sentencing & Compounding
Reclassification of Offences
Offences against Women
Organised Crime
Federal Law and Crimes
Terrorism
Economic Crimes

169
181
189
195
207
213
233

PART –V
LOOKING AHEAD
21.
22.
23.

Emerging Role of the Legal Profession
Training – A Strategy for Reform
Vision for Better Criminal Justice System

249
253
259

PART –VI
RECOMMENDATIONS
24.

Recommendations

265

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The nation is grateful to Sri. L.K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, for his vision for comprehensive reforms of the entire Criminal Justice System including the fundamental principles and the relevant laws. Hitherto, efforts were made to reform only certain set of laws, or one particular functionary of the system in piecemeal. This type of compartmental examination missed the vital focus on justice to victims and national concern for peace and security. The commitment made by him and his distinguished colleague Sri. Arun Jaitley, Minister for Law and Justice, to implement the reforms, once the Committee makes its recommendations, is a fitting answer to the cynics that the Report on Reforms of Criminal Justice System will be one more addition to the several earlier reports that are gathering dust in the Archives of the Government.

The Committee is beholden to the then Chief Justice of India, Dr. A.S. Anand, for calling upon all the High Courts to provide all information and assistance the Committee needs. Our grateful thanks to former Chief Justice Sri. B.N. Kirpal for ensuring that all the High Courts...
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