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legal reform



Hi Friends:
	There was an article in Times of India about five retired 
IPS officers publishing a booklet titled "Recommendations to speed up police 
investigations and court trials.'' You can read this article at:

http://www.timesofindia.com/today/02indi20.htm

I am wondering if we could get a hold of this report somehow. Does anyone
have any contacts in India to accomplish something like this? One of the 
things the officers recommended was to get rid of the "anticipatory bail"
thing, which apparently doesn't exist in any other country. I believe such
experienced people could be of great help in taking our discussions forward. 

regards,

Prem.

ps: I am reproducing the article below for your convenience

Ex-IPS officers suggest ways to speed up police investigations 

             By Olav Albuquerque

 MUMBAI: Five retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officers
 have recommended that panchanamas should be done away
 with when the police visit the scene of a crime to speed up
 investigations.

 ``The investigating officer should make a careful note, on
 his own, which is to be later entered into the case diary of
 that day, of what he saw at the scene of the crime. He
 should make good use of a camera to pick up all the salient
 facts and clues which he has observed there,'' these IPS
 officers have stated in their booklet titled
 ``Recommendations to speed up police investigations and
 court trials.'' Copies of this booklet have been sent to all the
 state governments in the country including the Central
 according to Mr S.P. Karnik, one of the
 authors of the booklet.

 The five former IPS officers who have jointly authored this
 26-page-booklet are V.G. Kanetkar, former director
 general of the Central reserve Police Force (CRPF), Mr S.P.
 Karnik, former additional secretary in the cabinet
 secretariat at New Delhi, Mr Mohan Katre,former director
 of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Mr V.G.
 Vaidya, former director of the Intelligence Bureau and Mr
 B.J. Misar, former principal secretary in the home
 department of the Maharashtra government.

 These IPS men have asked why it takes such a long time for
 the police to complete investigations of serious crimes and
 why after that the courts take longer time to decide cases
 sent to them for trial. ``After asking myself why persons
 like me who had long spells in the higher rungs of the
 police department should not put our heads together and
 propose steps to ease the situation,''Mr Kanetkar has
 written in a preface to the booklet.

 These IPS men held 43 weekly meetings during which they
 divided the problem into five issues:

 **Can the burden on the police be reduced by rationalising
 certain laws to give them more time to concentrate on
 serious and violent crimes such as terrorist activities ?

 **How can trials in law courts be speeded up ?

 **How can police investigations be expedited ?

 **Can the list of punishments (as prescribed by the IPC) be
 fortified to enhance their deterrence ?

 **Are any changes necessary in the existing provisions
 regarding appeals to higher courts ?

 Among the recommendations suggested by these senior
 police officers is that tape recorders should be used to
 record testimonies of important witnesses. Confessions of
 accused persons should be recorded, the booklet states.

 Pointing out that the literacy level had risen considerably
 during the last 23 years, the police officers have stated that
 the recommendations of the Law Commission in its 14th,
 41st and 48th reports should now be implemented.

 In its reports, the Law Commission had stated that
 witnesses' statements should be signed specially when they
 are literate. ``This will combat the tendency of witnesses to
 turn hostile during a trial,'' the IPS men have observed.
 ``The Joint Select Committee of Parliament had deleted this
 provision saying the time was still not ripe to introduce this
 radical change,'' the police officers have said.

 They have pointed out that by not obtaining witnesses'
 signatures, unscrupulous police officers can dilute the
 evidentiary value of key witnesses by omitting certain vital
 facts which has been stated, thereby favouring accused
 persons. On the other hand, countries like Malaysia and
 Singapore which have had a tradition of following the older
 1908 version of the Criminal Procedure Code have now
 made it obligatory for witnesses to sign their statements.

 The five police officers have pointed out that provisions for
 granting anticipatory bail do not exist in the U.S.A. or U.K.
 or as far as their experience goes, anywhere else in the
 world. ``Section 438 of the CrPC which was introduced by
 the Law Commission in its 41st report should be deleted
 from the Code. This is necessary because when anticipatory
 bail is granted, the psychological impact of arrest and
 interrogation in police custody is lost. This hampers the
 investigating officer from interrogating the accused person
 in isolation,'' the IPS men have observed.