Public prosecutors told to ensure speedy trials
Judges, on their own, will not be able to ensure a speedy trial. Public prosecutors, police, investigative agencies, doctors and forensic experts also have a role to play in ensuring an effective criminal justice system, said Justice N Kumar of the Karnataka High Court.
Justice Kumar, who is also president of the Karnataka Judicial Academy, inaugurated a training programme for prosecuting officers on Thursday and said speedy justice was a fundamental right of an accused.
Society is looking for a proper criminal justice system. The conviction rate in the country is 10 per cent. Despite all the drawbacks, if we are able to increase the conviction rate without making any structural changes, it will be a great service to the country, he said.
When the pronouncement of a judgment takes 10 years, so much money is spent on judges, public prosecutors, police and investigating agencies, he noted.
He urged public prosecutors to be ethical and said: "You are part of the judicial system, you are the officers of the court. Understand the importance of your position. If the judiciary is under attack, you are also under attack. Without you, the judiciary cannot perform well."
He asked them to work together and help the judiciary function effectively.
Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao said there is one murder every 90 minutes, one kidnap every 23 minutes and one rape every 29 minutes in the country. Dowry deaths are also on the rise.
There are a total of 70 million illegal firearms in the world out of which 40 million are in India alone. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have the highest number of illegal firearms in the country. Four million Indians are addicted to drugs. There should be a minimum of five years imprisonment for serious crimes and all cases should be disposed off at trial courts itself in an effective manner.
He also directed public prosecutors to cooperate with the media in sharing the status of cases and trials.
Additional Chief Secretary to the Home Department S K Pattanayak was also present on the occasion.