Process is punishment in Indian criminal justice system: CJI Ramana

Jul 16, 2022 8:15 PM STI

Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India]Jul 16 (ANI): India’s Chief Justice NV Ramana said on Saturday that in India’s criminal justice system, process is punishment and pointed out that from hasty and indiscriminate arrests to the difficulty of getting bail , the process leading to the prolonged incarceration of undertrials needs urgent attention.
Speaking at the 18th Meeting of All India Judicial Service Authorities in Jaipur, CJI Ramana said, “In our criminal justice system, the process is the punishment. requires urgent attention. We need a holistic action plan to increase the efficiency of the administration of criminal justice. Training and sensitizing the police and modernizing the prison system are one facet of improving the administration of criminal justice. NALSA and legal department authorities should focus on the above issues to determine how they can best assist,” the CJI said.
He said that in a country like India, legal aid is an essential aspect of the administration of justice.
“The administration of justice is not an act that takes place only in courtrooms. It involves the promotion and awareness of rights and the facilitation of social justice. It means the creation of a platform -form where parties can assert competing rights. It is only when equal access and participation is ensured in the justice system that the faith and trust of all will be won,” the judge said in chief
Therefore, access to justice has been recognized as a fundamental right, as it is the key to defending other rights, he added.
CJI Ramana further explained, “In other words, unless people can access justice, they would be denied remedies for violations of their rights. A single violation of a right, or a single case, can quickly lead to more serious consequences. illegal eviction can not only lead to loss of shelter, but also loss of livelihood which can result in lack of access to food or health care. Without state intervention in such circumstances through legal aid, offenders will never be held accountable, and injustice will prevail.”
Given the importance of the role of the state in the administration of justice, the Legal Services Authorities Act was enacted in 1987, nearly 40 years after independence, the law was considered groundbreaking, because it was way ahead of its time, he said.
CJI added that “After the initial hitches, we have now achieved great success. Now our services have reached every nook and cranny of our country. Today, nearly 80% of our population is eligible to apply for benefits under the NALSA Act. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if NALSA were to become the largest service provider in our country.”
Even the world’s most advanced democracies do not offer legal aid on such a massive scale as in India, he said.
We are trying to streamline our services and adopt modern tools and technologies while maintaining our original purpose and belief, CJI said.
“Today I am happy to see that two different initiatives for the benefit of prisoners have been launched. In India, we have 6.1 lakh prisoners in 1,378 prisons. They are indeed one of the most vulnerable strata of our society Prisons are black boxes Prisoners are often invisible and unheard citizens Prisons have an impact on different categories of prisoners, especially those from marginalized communities New initiatives of the E-prisons portal are a step towards transparency and expediency, keeping the interests of the inmate at heart,” he said.
Now, all relevant information about an inmate, such as incarceration details and pending court cases, is just a click away, CJI added.
CJI Ramana said another big initiative launched today is e-Mulakat.
“Prolonged separation from family and society can have a negative impact on an inmate’s mental health and socialization. Through this initiative, families and supporters of inmates can be in constant contact with them with ease The eParole app is another great initiative through which inmates can have continuity of social existence and interaction,” he added.(ANI)