Supreme Court SC laid down guidelines to bring about uniformity of...

SC laid down guidelines to bring about uniformity of practice across the country in criminal investigation and trial

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New Delhi, Apr 20 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today issued guidelines, aimed at addressing the shortcomings in the trial of criminal cases and to bring about uniformity of practice across the country in criminal investigation and trial.

A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice L Nageshwara Rao and Justice S Ravindra Bhat said that lack of uniformity results in asymmetries and hampers the appreciation of evidence, which in turn has a tendency of prolonging proceedings, especially at the appellate stages.

These prominent aspects and rules appear to have been formulated by certain High Courts, whereas many other High Courts have not framed such rules. This has led to a lack of clarity and uniformity in regard to the presentation of trial court proceedings and records, for the purpose of appreciation at the High Court level and eventually, before the Supreme Court, it added.

The Bench appointed Sidharth Luthra, R Basanth and K Parameshwar as Amicus Curiae. It called upon all the concerned State Govenments and Union Territories as well as High Courts, through their Registrar Generals, to submit their responses, along with suggestions.

The order read that the Amicus Curiae submitted the “Draft Rules of Criminal Practice, 2020” for the consideration of Supreme Court. While framing Draft Rules, due care was taken to ensure uniformity and at the same time to recognise the diverse practices among the various state authorities and High Courts in the country, it added.

The draft rules are compliant and not in any way repugnant to the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Many suggestions made as practice directions reflect the mandatory provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, said the order.

The three Amicus Curiae placed before the Supreme Court ‘Draft Rules of Criminal Practice, 2020’ (draft rules), outlining a slew of measures aimed at addressing shortcomings in the trial of criminal cases and to bring about uniformity of practice across the country in criminal investigation and trial.

The measures suggested in the draft rules included steps to ensure independence of public prosecutors by appointing separate legal advisors to advise the investigators during the probe, photographing and videographing the post-mortem of deceased persons who have died in police custody and uniform practices for recording evidence and writing Judgements. ILNS/ABV/RJ

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