'Hasty, indiscriminate arrests' need urgent attention: CJI NV Ramana
New Delhi/IBNS: Chief Justice NV Ramana on Saturday said issues of "hasty and indiscriminate arrests, difficulty in obtaining bail, and prolonged incarceration of under trials" are urgent problems faced in the country and need attention.
This comes amid questions over the arrest of Mohammad Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, by the police in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking at an event in Jaipur in the presence of Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and senior judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice NV Ramana did not name any specific case but called the process in India's criminal justice system a "punishment".
"The challenges are huge. In our criminal justice system, the process is the punishment. From hasty, indiscriminate arrests, to difficulty in obtaining bail, the process leading to the prolonged incarceration of under trials needs urgent attention," he said in his address.
"We need a holistic plan of action, to increase the efficiency of the administration of criminal justice. Training and sensitization of the police and modernization of the prison system is one facet of improving the administration of criminal justice," Justice Ramana said.
"NALSA (National Legal Services Authority) and legal service authorities need to focus on the above issues to determine how best they can help," he added.
Justice Ramana also expressed concern at political opposition which today translated into "hostility" and the quality of legislative performance.
"Political opposition should not translate into hostility, which we have been sadly witnessing these days. These are not signs of a healthy democracy. There used to be mutual respect between the government and opposition. Unfortunately, space for opposition is diminishing," he said.
"Sadly, the country is witnessing a decline in the quality of legislative performance," Justice Ramana said.
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