Chief Justice Applauds Landmark Criminal Justice Reforms for Modernizing Indian Legal System

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Chief Justice Applauds Landmark Criminal Justice Reforms for Modernizing Indian Legal System

Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud has commended the recently implemented criminal laws, lauding their focus on digitizing criminal procedures as a substantial advancement in the modernization of the Indian justice system. Highlighting the transformative potential of these laws, CJI Chandrachud emphasized their significance in enhancing efficiency and accessibility within the country’s legal framework.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Chandrachud, speaking on the occasion of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Raising Day, emphasized the broad scope of the newly enacted criminal laws by Parliament. He noted that these laws cover substantive crime, procedure, and evidence, with a central objective of digitizing various facets of criminal procedure.

Delivering the 20th DP Kohli Memorial Lecture under the theme “Adopting Technology to Advance Criminal Justice,” CJI Chandrachud underscored the significance of integrating technology into the criminal justice system. He highlighted the aim of the new laws to modernize criminal proceedings through digitization, aiming to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

Key Points from Chief Justice Chandrachud’s Address

The proposed legislation mandates the digital recording of every phase of a criminal investigation, starting from the initial registration of a First Information Report (FIR) to the ultimate delivery of judgment. This comprehensive method aims to ensure smooth information flow, fostering enhanced coordination and collaboration among stakeholders engaged in investigative and adjudicatory procedures. Additionally, electronic issuance of summonses and the virtual presentation of testimonies from witnesses, experts, accused individuals, and other relevant parties are now permissible measures.

Streamlining Legal Processes through Digital Innovation

This advancement eradicates the necessity for physical paperwork and facilitates rapid communication among law enforcement agencies, courts, and individuals participating in legal proceedings.

Enhanced Efficiency and Accessibility in Legal Proceedings

The implementation of the new criminal laws will eliminate delays in the transmission of bail orders to jail authorities and in recording witness depositions.

Authorization for virtual testimony presentation creates opportunities for remote participation in legal proceedings, expanding avenues for involvement from various locations.

Balancing Investigative Needs with Privacy Rights

  • Recent instances of raids and seizure of personal devices underscore the importance of finding a middle ground between investigative requirements and individual privacy rights.
  • Additionally, Chief Justice Chandrachud highlighted provisions such as Section 94 of the newly enacted Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita 2023 and Section 185 of the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam 2023, which empower courts and law enforcement agencies to summon documents and materials, including digital evidence, essential for investigations.

Utilizing Technology to Expedite CBI Prosecutions

Chief Justice Chandrachud stressed the imperative of acknowledging the intricate nature of CBI prosecutions and emphasized the utilization of technology to prevent delays. He called for a comprehensive approach that integrates technology into court procedures to eliminate the delays commonly seen in CBI prosecutions.

This measure would guarantee that the gravity of the accusation, combined with prolonged delays in CBI courts, does not result in an assumption of guilt.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Criminal Investigations

In addressing the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Chief Justice emphasized its pivotal role in revolutionizing criminal investigations. He noted that through the deployment of AI algorithms, law enforcement agencies like the CBI can efficiently analyze large volumes of data, swiftly identifying patterns, anomalies, and potential leads with remarkable accuracy.

As per the Chief Justice, Artificial Intelligence assists in simplifying complex crimes, dissecting intricate cases into manageable elements for analysis and resolution.

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