Inflict 'Purposive Punishment' On Perpetrators : Expert

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New Delhi, Oct 27 (UNI) Compensating victims of crime and inflicting 'purposive punishment' on perpetrators has been recommended by an expert committee, the Law and Justice Ministry reported today.

The Committee set up two years ago under the chairmanship of Prof Madhava Menon to draft a National Policy Paper on Criminal Justice System ''has submitted its report,'' the Ministry's statement said.

Its ''major'' recommendations include: -- Reclassifying crimes so as to empower victims; -- Delivering justice speedily and efficaciously; -- Setting sentencing guidelines for ''purposive punishment;'' -- Safeguarding weaker sections' interest; -- Using science and technology to reform Criminal Justice system; and -- Compensating victims.

The statement did not elaborate.

This is not the first time the government has sought expert advice to reform India's criminal justice system which some critics assert has collapsed. But changes have yet to be effected.

One of India's leading criminal lawyrs, K P S Tulsi told an audience some years ago that the average rate of conviction in 2002 was 4.6 per cent-- down from 6.4 per cent in 1996.

That means fewer than five of every hundred prosecutions started end in convictions.

Punishment is often inadequate to prove much of a deterrence against crime, critics point out.

The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission on Public Order has dubbed a lack of consistency in sentencing practices across the nation ''a real problem''-- compounded by broad executive discretion in commuting sentences and granting pardon.

UNI MJ RR GC1907

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