Malimath Procedure (CrPC), the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or

Malimath Committee report

“Law should not sit limply, while those who defy it go free
and those who seek its protection lose hope”. (Jennison v. Baker)

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Why in News?

·      
Recommendations of the committee are being
revisited by the present Central Govt.

·      
As the law and order problem in the country is deteriorating
and crimes are increasing in all spheres be it against Women, Cyber, Economic
Crime, or organised crimes.

·      
The Malimath 
committee gave 158 recommendations but these were not implemented by the
successive govt.

Criminal Justice System in India

Criminal justice system is more than 100 years old in India
and it need to be reviewed as the type of crime has changed with the use of
technology and other aspects.

Objective of the Malimath Committee

·      
Malimath committee was established to propose
reform in the criminal Justice System and constitutional provisions related to
it and to suggest whether there is need to re-write the Code of Criminal
Procedure (CrPC), the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or the Indian Evidence Act to
fulfil the aspiration of citizens and to accommodate these with changing nature
of crime.

·      
Further suggest the ways to synergize the
relationship among Judiciary, Police and Prosecution in order to restore the
confidence of common man.

·      
Suggest the ways to improve judicial proceedings
and justice delivery to common man.

Why recommendations not implemented?

·      
As there is no political will with respect to
implementing reform. This further widens trust deficit among police, Judiciary &
local citizens.

·      
Resistance from within the judiciary, declaring
the Judicial Appointment Commission Act unconstitutional is an example of such
resistance.

·      
Resistance within the police force for police
reform . But that wont be a major problem if political will is there.

·      
Sate govt has not done their responsibility Separating
law and order from investigation.

Recommendations of the Committee

It is the duty of
state to protect the fundamental rights of all citizen. The Committee
recommended for the review and re-enactment of the IPC, CrPC (Criminal
Procedure Code) and Evidence Act and the these laws should  take a holistic view in respect to punishment,
arrestability and bailability.

Rights of Accused

·      
Reasonable conditions should be prescribed  to regulate handcuffing and misuse of the
power by the Police Officers should be regulated by amending the laws.

Investigation

·      
The Investigation branch should be separated
from Law and Order branch.

·       Further
National Security Commission and the State Security Commissions should be
constituted, as recommended by the National Police Commission.

·       Quality
of investigation need to be improved.

Prosecution

·      
Prosecutors are the Officers of the Court, they
help the court to find the truth which is the objective of the Criminal Justice
System.

·      
Committee recommended in each State, the post of
the Director of Prosecution should be created, if not already created, and
should be filled up from among suitable police officers of the rank of DGP in
consultation with the Advocate General of the State.

Recommendation for Judiciary

·      
Committee suggested that impeachment of judges should
be made easier compared to present difficult process of impeachment under which
it is very difficult to impeach the guilty judges.

·      
Further it recommended amending article 124 and
constitution of National Judicial Commission.

·      
In the subordinate judiciary, as far as possible
assigning of civil and criminal cases to the same Judge every day should be
avoided.

·      
The working days of the Supreme Court be raised
to 206 days.

·      
The working days of the High Courts be raised to
231 days.

Offences against Women

·      
If a man and woman are living together as
husband and wife for a reasonable long period the man shall be deemed to have
married the woman according to the customary rites of either party. To bring
this provision into effect Section 494 of the I.P.C (Indian Penal Code) be
suitably amended.

·      
 “whosoever
has sexual intercourse with the spouse of any other person is guilty of
adultery”. Under Section 497 of IPC wife should likewise be punished if she has
sexual intercourse with another married man.

·      
Forcible penetration, penile/oral, penile/anal,
object or finger/vaginal and object or finger/anal should be made a separate
offence under the IPC prescribing appropriate punishment on the lines of
Section 376 of I.P.Code.

 

Organised Crime

·      
Legislative proposals should be undertaken
speedily to amend domestic laws to conform to the provisions of the UN
Convention on Transnational Organised Crime.

·      
An inter-Ministerial Standing Committee should be
constituted to oversee the implementation of the Convention.

Terrorism

·      
A Department of Criminal Justice should be
established to carry out the recommendations of the Committee

·      
Also set up a Committee, through legislation, to
evaluate procedural and criminal laws and further to suggest the necessary
amendment.

Economic Crimes

·      
Such crimes should be tackled immediately
through legislative and other provisions.

·      
Legislation on proceeds of crime be enacted on
the lines of similar legislation in the U.K and Ireland. An Asset Recovery
Agency at the Central level and similar agency at the State Levels may be
created.

Training

·      
Government and Judiciary both should invest in
training.

Way forward

Entire system requires reform first need to start with
electoral reform. As criminalisation of politics is the major issue. Significant
proportion of MP’S and MLA’s are charged with crimes, so question arises why they
will support either the clean judicial or the clean Police System?. Unless
there is effective govt, reform won’t be possible. So Electoral reform along
with Judicial and Police Reform should go hand in hand.