This article is written by Zigishu Singh pursuing a Certificate Course in Advanced Criminal Litigation & Trial Advocacy from LawSikho.
The Criminal Justice System as we see today was developed by the Britishers. In the beginning it consisted of a penal statute that described offences and the respective penalty it carried (Indian Penal Code), one statute book provided what kind of evidence is to be admitted in trials and the procedure to admit it (Indian Evidence Act). The most important statute was the one that described the procedure to be followed in the conduct of criminal trials, courts in different parts of India followed different procedures and lacked uniformity which made it necessary to assimilate the best practices of all areas and make it common throughout the territory.
Courts, prisons and the police are the three major organs of any Criminal Justice System. Police in India have a negative reputation for being exploitative, unsupportive and not working in the interests of citizens. Many times, similar remarks are made in courts of law about the police regarding their lack of seriousness with respect to matters of investigation, protocol to be followed in procedures of arrest, custodial violence etc. Improper investigation of a crime is one of the major concerns highlighted repeatedly by the judiciary. Since the outcome of a trial is influenced heavily by how investigation is conducted, it becomes imperative on the part of the police to leave no stone unturned when conducting investigation.
However, the reality is that investigations of crimes suffer from a number of problems. Many times either due to ignorance or mala fide on the part of the police, crucial evidence is not presented to the court, witnesses are influenced to give false testimonies, and several other malpractices are done by the police against the interests of justice. Separation of judiciary from the executive is the cardinal principle of many common law jurisdictions, however it has been observed this principle is neither practicable nor desirable for the efficient functioning of a state. This is even more noticeable in the Criminal Justice Administration where the degree of interdependence between the executive and the judiciary is quite strong.
The Supreme Court recently discussed the feasibility of creating an independent and separate cadre of Judicial Magistrates for monitoring evidence collection during criminal investigation. The Supreme Court tried to theorize about providing a supervisory role to magistrates during collection of evidence. By dangling with the subject of giving investigation powers in the hands of the judiciary, the Supreme Court is going against the principle that investigation is the prerogative of the police, which the court itself has reiterated in countless cases. However, the court’s frustration is legitimate as despite issuing countless directions to the police with respect to investigation procedure, improvements made by the police have been far and few on that front. The court did not go deep into the subject in the above case but it did leave the question open for a separate discussion in future. Before the Apex Court deals with this important question we will attempt to see whether the court is right to tread on the subject of the Inquisitorial system in criminal litigation.
Table of Contents
The process of Investigation of Crimes in India
In India the power to investigate crimes lies with the State Police Forces and other special investigation agencies for particular crimes. The Magistrates and Public Prosecutors also play an important role in the conduct of investigation but their influence on the investigation is limited, their functions do not influence the investigation much and the primary actions required in an investigation are done by the police only. It can be inferred that the police is the prime authority which has the most bearing on an investigation.
The functions of police in an investigation
In H.N. Rishbud & Ors. vs. State of Delhi the Supreme Court briefly summed up the elements of the processes of investigation in five steps namely:
(1) Proceeding to the scene of crime,
(2) Ascertainment of the facts and circumstances of the case,
(3) Discovery and arrest of the suspected offender,
(4) Collection of evidence relating to the commission of the offence which may consist of:
(a) the examination of various persons (including the accused) and the reduction of their statements into writing, if the officer thinks fit,
(b) the search of places of seizure of things considered necessary for the investigation and to be produced at the trial, and
(5) Formation of the opinion as to whether on the material collected there is a case to place the accused before a Magistrate for trial and if so taking the necessary steps for the same by the filing of a charge-sheet under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The Code of Criminal Procedure provides the guidelines to be followed in the above steps. The corresponding sections for the above steps are listed below:
- Arrest of an accused person is the first stage in the process of investigation. Section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure gives a police officer the power to arrest an accused without obtaining permission of the Magistrate in certain conditions. The stage of arrest might not appear important in the whole scheme of investigation but it has a crucial part. Quick action by the police on apprehension of crime helps the investigation in better construction of the crime and unearth evidence pivotal to the case. It is common wisdom that prompt action by any investigative authority results in faster procurement of evidence and gives the criminal less time to destroy valuable information or influence witnesses. Memories of witnesses are also prone to fade over time which is avoidable if police acts immediately.
- Section 52 of the Code of Criminal Procedure gives the police to seize any offensive weapons found with the arrested person. The weapon(s) is required to be sent to the court or to the officer to whom the arrested person is required to be produced. This section provides a useful tool to the police to procure evidence in crimes particularly related to the body and even in other crimes.
- Section 53 and 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure provide the police officer the power to request a medical practitioner to conduct a medical examination of an arrested person, if the police officer believes that examination of the arrested person will provide evidence related to the crime for which the accused is arrested.
- Under Section 156(1) of the Code of Criminal procedure, an officer of the police station has power to investigate a cognizable offence without the order of a magistrate. For non-cognizable offences the officer needs the order of a magistrate(Section 155 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).
- Section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure gives the investigation officer the power to summon any witnesses within the local limits of his police station for his attendance before the officer if such a witness is acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.
- Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides the police the power to examine witnesses who are acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.
- Section 165 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides the investigation officer the power to search any place within the jurisdiction of his local police station for the purposes of investigation. This power can be exercised even without the order of any magistrate if the officer believes that the undue delay caused by obtaining an order from the magistrate will render the search useless.
The functions of magistrates in an investigation
- Like the police the Magistrate is also empowered to arrest a person who has committed an offence in his presence. He can arrest such a person either himself, by issuing a warrant or by directing any other person to make an arrest. Section 44 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides the power to a magistrate to make arrest. The power of arrest given to a magistrate has a wider ambit as he can even get arrested a person who has committed a non-cognizable offence.
- For the purpose of Test Identification Parade, Section 54A of the Code of Criminal Procedure allows a court acting on the request of an investigation officer to direct an arrested person for an identification test by a particular person or persons which the court considers fit.
- Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that for the purposes of investigation, a court having jurisdiction can order the production of any document or a thing needed in investigation.
- Section 92 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides the court a power identical to Section 91. Under this section the court can order the postal or telegraph authorities to deliver any letters, telegrams, parcels which are required for the purpose of investigation.
- Section 93 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides the Court the power to issue a Search Warrant in cases where the court suspects that the person or authority directed to produce a document or thing under Section 91 or 92 will not produce such document or thing. The court may also exercise the power under Section 93 if the document or thing required for investigation is not known to be in the possession of any person. This power is quite similar to the power of search provided to an officer under Section 165.
- Section 156(3) of the Code of the Criminal Procedure provides a Magistrate of First Class to order the investigation officer to investigate any offence. The magistrate can order investigation after receiving a police report, a complaint or on his own knowledge. Section 156(3) provides the magistrate power to order further investigation in a case if he is not satisfied with the final report of the police. In Vinubhai Haribhai Malviya vs. State of Gujarat the Supreme Court changed the existing jurisprudence in 156(3) and held that the power under section 156(3) can be exercised even after cognizance of a case has been taken under Section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- Section 159 of the Code of Criminal Procedure also gives power to a magistrate to direct an investigation in a case of which a report has been received under Section 158. However, this provision does not give the magistrate a general power to investigate. It was observed in the 41st Report of the Law Commission of India that the power under this section is to be exercised only when it appears that the police are neglecting their duties or are avoiding investigation on vague grounds.
- Under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure all magistrates are empowered to record confessions and non-confessionary statements by a person for the purpose of investigation. The exercise of the power under this section is only available before the commencement of any inquiry or the trial.
A bare reading of the functions of a magistrate in the process of investigation suggests that a magistrate has significant powers in matters of investigation and it cannot be said that investigation is solely the domain of the police. The code provides significant powers to a Court to interject in the process of investigation to check any shortcomings or negligence on the part of the investigation team. However, despite the existing checks and balances the Supreme Court is considering creating a separate cadre of magistrates to supervise investigations. This clearly indicates that the police have not lived up to the expectations of the court and the society with respect to investigation of crime.
Problems of the investigation process in India
The presence of powers provided to the magistrate are complete on paper but they do not mean much on the ground. When the problems regarding investigation are logistical, political and related to the lack of skills of police then no magistrate can fix the lacunae in investigation just by giving directions sitting in a courtroom. The Judiciary can only direct, the proper and timely execution of its orders are the responsibility of the executive. The NALSAR University in Hyderabad conducted an exhaustive study of the problems of Investigation and had reported the following findings which deserve a mention:
- Delay in filing of charge-sheet and faulty investigations are the major factors which lead to acquittals.
- Case diaries which are required to be maintained by the investigating officers, under Section 172 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, are not managed properly. The reasons cited for it are time constraints and lack of training. Case diaries are the eyes and ears of the judge regarding an investigation, improper maintenance of a case diary virtually renders all of the inquisitorial powers of a magistrate nugatory.
- Many Judges complain that the statements of witnesses recorded under Section 161 are not truthful and in essence are the statements of the police and not the witnesses which leads to problems for the prosecution.
- There is an unwritten practice of delaying the registration of F.I.R. unless permitted by a senior police officer. This is a major concern as prompt registration and action on a complaint is essential in criminal matters so that essential evidence is not lost or destroyed.
- Forensic experts have their own problems due to which their reports usually reach the police late where their help is required. This problem leads to delay in filing charge sheets which leads to acquittals.
- Non-cooperation of the public is another reason for delays and faulty investigation. The reason for this could be the negative image of the police and the fear of harassment and the general negative perception of the public regarding facing judicial proceedings.
- Absence of modern equipment like cameras and video recorders further impediments in the smooth conduct of investigation. This is a reality even in most city based police stations despite the fact that so many investigation processes have mandatory requirements for video recording.
These were some of the problems that are attributable to inefficiency and lack of improvement on the part of the police alone. However, issues at the institutional level are just one of the things that plague the investigation process. More than the inefficiency of police, it is the inveterate political interference that exists in the functioning of the police that is to blame for the problem of faulty investigations. The issue of political interference in the police departments at the state level was discussed in the 2nd report of the National Police Commission appointed in 1977.
The report observed that the current framework heavily supports the executive control of the state police department. The Commission noted that political control is one of the prime reasons for the nefarious qualities attributed to the police like abuse of human rights, erosion of rule of law and loss of faith in police as a professional organisation and protector of the public. The threats of transfers and suspension is the most used modus operandi by politicians to bend the police down to their will. This is a dangerous practice as not only it affects cases where the politician has a vested interest but also it creates an unscrupulous opportunity for the politician to get bribes and favors from every section of the society for his ability to weaken cases.
Political interference in matters of investigation and prosecution is a major problem that if not fixed renders all other reforms meaningless. This has been observed many times in reports of various commissions and judgments of the Supreme Court as well. Other problems relating to shortage of manpower, lack of training and availability of modern equipment can be fixed by allocating resources, but the perennial lack of political will to make the police force completely independent of the legislature is the problem that no political party wants to address. Political interference in the justice system is a universal problem but in India it is deeply concerning, this phenomenon affects not only the Justice System but even forms unwanted behavioral patterns in the society which are listed below:
- It is often seen in the news that the haphazard manner of transfers of many upright officers takes place due to them offending the members of the ruling party by investigating matters or registering F.I.R.s related to them. This decreases the morale of good officers and develops a culture among the forces where honesty is punished and sycophancy is rewarded;
- Such a culture is perpetuated and embedded in the minds of newly recruited officers who might have entered the forces with a view to serve the society;
- Repeated instances of the powerful and the connected people getting away with punishment decreases the society’s confidence in the judicial system;
- The increasing trust deficit in the institution of police has many unintended consequences which affects the Criminal Justice System at all levels, a few of which can be highlighted:
- At the stage of investigation many key witnesses are do not come forward to give their testimony or are unwilling to cooperate with the police;
- Victims avoid reporting of crime especially against persons with clout, this happens more so in offences against women where women are forced by their families to either not report the case or retract their complaints. Acts like these perpetuate the sense of impunity amongst people with high clout and patriarchal attitudes related to crime against women do not die.
- A perception of fear gets created with respect to the Police, Judiciary and legal systems. It is also the reason behind the ineffectiveness of Legal Services Authorities in imparting justice to the weaker sections of the society. Education, awareness and cost effective representation do not help much when the system is rigged against the common man.
We can notice how the abuse of political power creates a rot which permeates to all other organs of the Criminal Justice Administration and even creates an insensitive and inequitable society. The roots of this problem go far back in time, security of the citizens has always been one of the primary functions of any administrator even before the advent of the concept of nation state. Security forces were created generally by the Monarch of a territory and were accountable to the monarch alone, going against the monarch was unthinkable and a similar servile attitude remains in the system where the executive will not go against the will of the sovereign i.e. the legislature.
Even though the Legislature or Sovereign exists for the people, it is also composed of humans and human minds are vulnerable to basic instincts of greed, self-preservation and egoism, the consequence of which is that the Sovereign forgets its actual purpose and starts working for self gain. Perhaps it is due to the above theory and the repeated failures of the executive to reform itself that the Supreme Court has given a thought to introduce the judiciary into the domain of the executive by flirting with the idea of creation of a class of magistrates for the purpose of investigation.
Giving more inquisitorial powers to magistrates
The Supreme Court is not wrong in its approach, but giving magistrates a supervisory power in collection of evidence means introducing a system which is not in consonance with the existing jurisprudence of criminal litigation. Giving any judge or magistrate powers which get him out of the courtroom and to the scene of crime is a serious violation of the principle of separation of powers. Although the three powers constantly enter into each other’s domain, it is usually without any serious repercussions and is limited to temporary and less important tasks. But if a member of the Judiciary is also conducting investigation routinely in criminal matters then besides increasing the workload of the magistrate, it will amount to giving too much power in the hands of a single person making the position susceptible to corruption and use of arbitrariness in decisions.
Can an institution of Magistrates supervising investigation be introduced in India, will it solve all the problems that plague the police. For that we need to study how an Inquisitorial system works, the Criminal Justice System of France is a suitable example in this regard. In France the function of investigation is not assigned to the police alone and prosecutors and magistrates have supervisory powers in the matters of investigation, a brief study of the investigation system of France needs to be done before ascertaining whether such a system is suitable for India.
Process of investigation in French criminal justice system
In France, investigation of a crime is undertaken by the police which is supervised by either the prosecutor or an independent judge called the Juge d’instruction (Investigation Judge). The Public Prosecutors come under the Ministry of Justice and form a part of the executive. The Judiciary at the lower level consists of the Investigation Judges and Trial Judges known as Magistrat, the trial judges are presiding officers and do not undertake investigation. The police authorities in France that conduct investigations are represented by an institution known as Officiers de police judiciaire (Officers of the Judicial Police, hereinafter the OJP), this is in contrast to the Indian system where there is a thin line of difference between the Police force involved in law and order and the one involved in investigation.. According to The French Code of Criminal Procedure the Judicial Police does the following functions:
- Recording crime
- Gathering evidence
- Pursuing the culprits who have committed offenses
Sections 75-78 of the French Code of Criminal Procedure provide the manner of investigation in less serious offences, that is discussed below:
- An officer of a police force can conduct a basic or preliminary enquiry on his own motion or on the receipt of a complaint.
- He can call Potential witnesses to make statements with respect to the offence at the Police Station itself, out of free will.
- Search of houses or other premises cannot be conducted without the consent of the owner of such premises.
- Even in cases of less serious offences the police can detain a person who is suspected to have committed or attempted to commit an offence for a period which can be extended upto 96 hours with the permission of the Prosecutor.
- Investigation in less serious offences are supervised by prosecutors but some methods of investigation which are concerned with personal liberty and property require the permission of Investigation Magistrates.
Sections 53-74 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provide for investigation in case of grave offences. The investigation into these offences are supervised by senior prosecutors. Inquiry into such offences necessitate the use of wide powers by the Police such as:
- Sealing of the area.
- Detention of potential witnesses.
- Power to compel the attendance of witnesses and then subject them to intense questioning.
- Procedures such as search and seizure can be conducted free from the requirement of taking consent, and in the case of drug offences, there are no prescribed hours for conduction.
- Reports of technical experts, as above, can also be obtained. In serious cases, the chief state prosecutor or a deputy may visit the scene of the offence and take charge of investigations.
- In the rarest of cases, the examining magistrate may himself decide to visit the scene of the offence and take charge of the investigation himself.
Investigating magistrates supervise the investigation of the most serious and complex offences, the powers of the investigating magistrate are quite wide. Some powers are exercised personally by the magistrate like the decision to charge someone, conducting evidentiary hearings for the case etc. The magistrate also has the power to set up a rogatory commission (commission rogatoire). A rogatory commission is similar to the commissions issued under Chapter XXIII of the Indian Code of Criminal Procedure. Other steps that the investigating magistrate can take are:
- The magistrate can examine witnesses.
- He can carry out searches and seizures.
- Gather evidence from the scene of the crime. Furthermore, he can order expert tests (eg. Mechanical, chemical, DNA).
- The investigating magistrate can order psychiatric and personality tests on the accused, as the inquiry into personality has developed from greater penological interest in the post-war era and is considered as important as the inquiry into culpability.
- The investigating magistrate also has a hand in determining the movement of the accused persons who are subject to questioning.
- He has the ability to place accused persons under judicial control, which may entail placing them under house arrest, not allowing them to drive a car, summoning them to regular meetings with the authorities etc.
- The magistrate can prohibit accused persons from receiving or meeting certain persons, or subjecting them to various measures of treatment and follow-up. In addition to these measures, the judge can order that a guarantee or bond (cautionnement) be filed with the court clerk to ensure against flight.
One might conclude that the unfettered powers of an investigating magistrate can result in arbitrariness, but many mechanisms exist to check any unlawful use of such powers. The counsel for the parties in a particular case generally keep a check on the entire process of investigation to minimise arbitrariness. The lawyers of the parties are provided an ongoing right of access to the case file, attending the questioning of their client, power to seek further investigation on an issue and also request further investigative measures. Lawyers can also institute appeals against certain decisions of an Investigating Magistrate to the Chamber of Investigation, this court can order additional investigative measures and, for justifiable reasons replace one investigating magistrate with another. The decisions of the Chamber of Investigation are also subject to a specific appeal which is heard by French Superior Court.
Is the inquisitorial system any better?
A brief glance on the inquisitorial system of France particularly in the stage of investigation does not reveal much of a difference between Indian and French system. In France investigation is supervised by public prosecutors and magistrates according to the gravity of the case, the police does not seem to have much discretion in the process of investigation barring some non-complex tasks, the most crucial processes of investigation are initiated by either the prosecutors or investigation judges. Most procedures which are implemented by the prosecutors or investigation judges are not any different from what are available to the Indian Judges to exercise.
The Indian Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act gives many powers to judges in the stage of investigation and trial as such as:
- Ordering further investigation.
- Ordering custody of accused persons.
- Issuing commissions.
- Providing conditions for release from custody.
- Authorizing investigation in cases where police refuse to act.
- Ordering search of places.
- Summoning any witnesses, subjecting them to intense scrutiny.
In simple words, except for a few powers, the trial courts of India are equipped more than enough to conduct any form of inquiry or investigation to arrive at the truth. The difference between the French and Indian Judges is that in France the investigation judge plays a proactive role in the process of investigation and is not detached from the process of Investigation, whereas in India, the judges exercise their inquisitorial powers with restraint and most powers are exercised on the request of the investigation officer or the prosecutor. The criminal jurisprudence in India requires the judge to be an impartial arbiter who should not help the case of either party, a similar duty is also cast on the prosecutors in India, this is in contrast to France where the investigation into an offence depends extensively on the role of prosecutors and investigation judges.
So what changes can be expected if a separate cadre of investigation magistrates is created to supervise investigation as is envisaged in the observations of the Supreme Court. Here are a few positives which can be expected:
- All crucial evidence will be gathered, practice of deliberate exclusions of inculpatory and exculpatory evidence done by the police can be minimized;
- Witnesses are more likely to feel safer if the investigation is done under the watchful eyes of a magistrate;
- Custodial tortures, forced confessions, tutoring of witnesses and other mischievous practices associated with investigation can be avoided;
- Women and other weaker sections of the society can testify and file complaints without the fear of harassment;
- The scope for improvement in investigation procedures will be higher if magistrates are involved in the processes;
- The dual burden of maintaining law and order and investigation on the police can be eased.
Every system has its pros and cons, the inquisitorial system is not foolproof, here are some possible shortcomings which the system may face if implemented in India.
- India has a large population and most state governments are not efficient in tackling the severe shortage of both police personnel and judges, it will become even more challenging if another category of magistrates is setup;
- Government servants in India are transferred on the whims of the executive, similar procedure is followed in the lower judiciary, if the investigating magistrates are subjected to such practices, then the evil of political interference will find its way into this system as well;
- Even though an investigating magistrate will be bound by principles of neutrality and ethics, there is always a possibility that variable notions of justice and pressures of media and society start to dictate the actions of the investigation judges;
- To ensure that an investigation magistrate is not conducting a biased investigation, lawyers of both parties accompany him in the process of investigation, lawyers can appeal against actions of the investigation magistrate to higher authorities, this is a major problem as such a system prolongs the completion of investigation and subsequently the trial as well;
- Appreciation of evidence is a matter of experience and knowledge of human affairs. It is a delicate task to be carried out by Judges for weighing evidence and drawing inferences. These faculties develop overtime with experience and are not available to newbie judges. An investigation magistrate will also be expected to have such qualities, therefore the pool from which investigation magistrates can be chosen becomes quite small as only experienced members of the bar or the bench are likely to possess the requisite skills;
- Several countries including Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, and Italy, have abolished the position of investigating magistrate outright. Their experience has shown that it is an unnecessary addition to the already complex judicial system and results in slower administration of Justice;
- Similar demands of investigation magistrates can be made in offences where specialized agencies such as CBI and NIA conduct investigation.
In both common law and civil law countries sentiments exist for the adoption of systems of each other, in this context it can be said that grass always appears to be greener on the other side. Criminal laws in India already provide many in-built inquisitorial tools at the disposal of trial courts to come to proper conclusions in a trial and investigation, but many times the lack of proximate participation of the judge gives the police an incomplete and/or untrue picture of investigation. The creation of a cadre of supervising magistrates has the potential to address those loopholes in investigation. Calls have been made in the past to introduce an inquisitorial system for investigation of heinous offences and offences against women. However, after discussing the problems that an inquisitorial system, if introduced, can face in India, it is kind of myopic to expect that investigation magistrates alone can bring substantial change in the Indian Criminal Justice System.
The problems of investigation in the Indian Criminal Justice system are manifold and not just limited to the police and/or prosecutors. We have logistical problems, political interference, lack of manpower, lack of skills, issues of ethics, issues of honesty etc. Fixing one problem will not automatically remedy the other ones. The system can be tried for a particular class of cases to check its feasibility in the Indian system but in the author’s opinion it will likely fail and would just become an additional burden on the Justice system. The peculiar problems of India are not conducive to the efficient working of a system which exists majorly in civil law systems and in countries where the rate of crime and population is comparatively lower.
There is an ironic phenomenon with respect to crime that exists in most countries which is that even though crime is considered an offence against the society as a whole, it is not really taken seriously by most citizens of the country until they become victims themselves or some really horrific crime happens which shakes their conscience. Murders, robberies, sexual crimes, drug dealing, human trafficking, socio-economic offences are quite common in India and happen on a daily basis but very rarely the public clamors for a radical change. This is one of the factors why the police, politicians, judges, prosecutors and all limbs of the justice system refuse to change. Introducing another thing into the system is unlikely to work unless the guardians of justice become completely accountable to the public.
In a separate article(pending publication), the author had discussed the introduction of a system of elected District Attorneys in India on the lines of the system that exists in the United States of America. Independent Proactive prosecutors accountable to the public for controlling the crime rate and improving the justice system is one of the best systems for India. The responsibility for improving security and establishing rule of law in the society currently lies with the state, however during elections a political party fights elections on varied issues and improving justice is hardly on their agenda, furthermore the state has too much of a vested interest in controlling the police and the judiciary to let it become independent and function according to law alone. The situation will improve only if there is a separate authority to look into matters of justice and law and the power to elect it is given to the people and not the state.
However, such a change can only be brought through immense public pressure. The Supreme Court has tried and failed too many times in the past and is helpless in front of a much more powerful executive. Reforms regarding improving the police system, improving the judicial system, decriminalization of politics, shielding the judiciary from politics have been touted a lot in history but they are mere recommendations and will not move the political parties unless they face public pressure to implement them.
Giving the judiciary more say in the matters of investigation might improve the situation in some ways but besides the problem of huge cost and political will that is required for such a step, the new magistrates will be always susceptible to the evils which currently plague the Justice system. If such a thing happens then it will be another waste of the resources and time of the state and will only open more avenues of corruption. The alternative of elected attorneys for prosecution suggested in this piece is much less expensive and is also in consonance with democratic principles. It is not necessary that it should be implemented exactly in that way, but the spirit of giving power to the people should be kept in mind in any reform.
Prompt adjudication of crime and delivery of justice is one of the most basic expectations of any populace since from a State. Low crime rates and an orderly society are the hallmarks of a developed nation. Self-governance is an important feature of democracy, every society strives for a crime free environment which is essential for self-governance to flourish. People give their resources and pay taxes to the state for the better administration of the state, they do it with the expectation of a better society, the principles of rule of law and justice are inherent in the promise of a better society. Hence it is essential that the power to improve law and order in a society must be in the hands of the public and not the gubernatorial appointees of political parties who remain hidden from public scrutiny.
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