Revamp justice system to address security concerns, human rights:CJ

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New Delhi, Dec 22 (UNI) Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan today denied that judiciary was infringing on the powers of executive and called for revamping the criminal justice system to address the concerns of internal security like terrorism and organised crimes at the same time protecting and respecting human rights of people.

''No, I don't agree that judiciary was infringing on the rights of the executive,'' the Chief Justice told UNI on the sidelines of a function when asked about the recent allegations in this regard.

Earlier, delivering the 20th IB Centenary Endowment Lecture on 'Preserving Internal Security and Protecting Human Rights through Efficacious Criminal Justice', Justice Balakrishnan called for revamping the criminal justice system to address the concerns of internal security, including terrorism, organised, crime, money laundering and drug smuggling alongwith addressing the human rights issues on the same time.

Pointing out the large number of terror attacks in the country during the recent past, he said that a system be devised by improvising the existing mechanisms, particularly in the criminal justice that address human rights and strive to protect internal security at the same time.

''Though we required strong measures to counter anti-national elements, respect for human rights needed to be maintained. For this, an appropriate legal framework, particularly in criminal justice would go a long way in supporting law enforcing agencies and making them legitimate in the eyes of the citizens.'' However, on the question of police heroes discharging their duties being targeted for human rights violation later, the Chief Justice accepted the suggestion that there should be a time frame for filing such cases. ''If the cases against such police personnel were filed after four to five years, it means that they could be motivated,'' he said and added that the legislature should fix some time limit during which only cases against police personnel could be filed.

Justice Balakrishanan asked the top Intelligence and police officials of the country to improve the investigation machinery to make it more effective in bringing terrorists to book. However, he emphasised the need for protecting human rights of the people at the same time.

In view of the difficulty being faced by police and security personnel in bringing culprits of serious crimes like terrorism to book in absence of eyewitness' and the courts not admitting narco-analysis and lie detector as proof, he said that the best of the investigative system were not being used at present due to large number of crimes. The Chief Justice called for more use of available scientific methods of investigations to tackle crimes which were being increasingly done using sophesticated weapons and globalised economic scenario.

However, he refused to comment on the issue of allowing narco-analysis and lie detector tests as evidence in courts as the matter was subjudice with a petition challenging their use on the ground of being against fundamental rights.

Admitting the high number of cases pending in the courts, the Chief Justice attributed it to increase in the number of crimes in the country while the number of courts and judges have not increased substantially.

Even in Delhi alone, 456 cases of murder happen per year while the courts' ability to dispose off was lesser as a murder trial needed detailed investigations. Pendency of cases were on an average 30 per cent of which 15 per cent were due to delay in investigations while 15 per cent were due to some interested persons being interested in delaying the cases and their lawyers supporting it.

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