The Home Minister had recently said that the Bureau of Police Research and Development should work on a proposal to amend various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. This comes in response to the growing inefficiency of India’s Criminal Justice system. India’s criminal justice mechanism suffers from a lack of judiciary’s accountability and non-cooperation between its investigation and prosecution wings, allowing criminals to go scot-free. Even if they are charged, they manage to wriggle out either due to botchy investigation or apathetic prosecution. India’s Criminal Justice System is dismal as its conviction rate is just 21.2% of the cognisable offences. On the other hand, countries like the US and Japan have a conviction rate of over 98%. Clearly, reforms in India’s criminal justice system are a need of the hour.
The Indian judiciary has a host of problems acting as hurdles in the speedy delivery of justice. Pendency of cases is one such problem that has been ailing the judiciary for a long time. In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the problem has increased three-fold. Recently, the Supreme Court of India observed that the pendency of cases “has gone out of control”, and said it will issue guidelines for the appointment of temporary judges to help address the backlog. This is not only the situation during the pandemic rather the backlog of pending cases in India has become a burning problem for a long time which denies the people the right to access timely justice. This impacts not just the administration of justice, but it has tremendous consequences for the economy and the functioning of businesses across India as well.
There is growing support for abolishing capital punishment in India and it needs serious consideration since, on the other side, there has been a nationwide outrage over the series of incidents of sexual assaults of minor girls, like the one in Kathua. The Supreme Court itself admitted on many occasions that there are confusion and contradiction on the application of the death penalty.
This article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for quick revision:
- What is capital punishment?
- What is the need for capital punishment?
- What are the arguments in favour?
- What are the arguments against?
- What is the evolution of the death penalty in India?
- Why India still retains it?
- What are the protections against capital punishment in the constitution?
On 17th July 2019, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had delivered its final verdict on the Kulbhushan Jadhav Case between India and Pakistan. With a 15-1 majority decision in India’s favour, the ICJ held that Pakistan had violated its obligations under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. This case is a clear victory for India. Yet, the ICJ can provide only limited remedies for India. This brings into question the uncertainty about Jadhav’s detention and his pending death sentence.