The Bills proposing amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal
Procedure (CRPC), and the Evidence Act encompass a myriad of salient features
that aim to address various shortcomings within the criminal justice system.
This article undertakes a detailed analytical examination of these proposed
amendments, shedding light on their potential implications and the broader legal
landscape they seek to reshape.
Digitization of Criminal Justice Process:
The proposed digitization of the entire criminal justice process, from FIR
registration to judgment delivery, is a transformative step towards efficiency
and transparency. This modernization can streamline proceedings, reduce
paperwork, and expedite justice delivery.
Video Conferencing for Trial:
Facilitating complete trials, including cross-examinations, through video
conferencing can revolutionize courtroom procedures. This move addresses
logistical challenges, enhances witness protection, and accelerates the trial
Videography of Statements and Search & Seizure:
Mandatory videography of victims' statements in sexual crimes and during search
& seizure operations bolsters the authenticity of evidence. This could
potentially deter manipulation and ensure a fair and accurate portrayal of
Timelines for Filing Charge Sheet and Judgment:
The stipulation of timeframes for filing charge sheets and delivering judgments
reinforces the principle of speedy justice. However, provisions for extensions
acknowledge the complexity of certain cases and ensure thorough examination.
Online Availability of Judgments:
Mandating the online publication of judgments within 7 days enhances
transparency, accessibility, and public accountability. This move aligns with
the global trend of open justice and promotes a better-informed society.
Forensic Teams and Mobile FSLs:
Requiring forensic teams to visit crime scenes for serious offenses and
deploying mobile Forensic Science Laboratories (FSLs) at the district level
enhances evidence collection and analysis, potentially strengthening the
Mob Lynching Provision:
The introduction of a distinct provision to address mob lynching, with penalties
ranging from 7 years' imprisonment to the death penalty, is a significant step
towards curbing this menace. This provision emphasizes the severity of such
crimes and aims to deter potential offenders, thereby safeguarding the
fundamental right to life and personal security.
Zero FIR' and Jurisdiction:
The formalization of the 'Zero FIR' concept is a progressive move, empowering
citizens to report crimes at any police station, irrespective of jurisdiction.
This ensures prompt action and prevents delays in initiating investigations,
ultimately enhancing access to justice.
Deemed Sanction' for Prosecution:
The concept of 'deemed sanction' adds an element of accountability to the
prosecution of civil servants and police officers accused of criminal offenses.
By mandating prosecution in case of authority's inaction within 120 days, this
provision promotes transparency and combats potential misuse of power.
Separate Provisions for Specific Offenses:
The inclusion of separate provisions for organized crimes, rape under false
pretexts, chain snatching, and similar offenses underscores the intent to
address specific societal challenges with tailored legal responses.
Commutation of Sentences:
The provision limiting the commutation of death penalties, life terms, and
shorter sentences underscores the gravity of certain offenses. This calibrated
approach aims to balance punishment and rehabilitation, while accounting for the
severity of the crime.
The Concluding Note:
The proposed amendments to the IPC, CRPC, and Evidence Act signify a
comprehensive overhaul of India's criminal justice system. By addressing
specific shortcomings and introducing innovative measures, these amendments
strive to expedite justice delivery, enhance accountability, and ensure the
protection of individual rights. While the efficacy of these changes will depend
on their implementation and interpretation, they reflect a significant stride
towards a more just and efficient legal framework.
Information and discussion contained herein is being shared in the public
Interest. The same should not be treated as substitute for expert advice as it
is subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception,
interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue involved herein.
Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman
, IP Adjutor - Patent and
Email: [email protected]
, Ph no: 9990389539