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Indian Criminal justice System - Police system needs to be reformed



Introduction: Indian criminal justice system 

In India the increasing number of crimes is one of the most crucial issue, whenever there is a crime wave or mishandling of any situation by police, which is ofcourse not very infrequent, a public debate on police reforms invariably assumes center stage. 

Ever since the constitution of National Police Commission about 40 years ago. 



Today, the media is well filled with stories and broadcast heinous crimes very boldly. Cases of molestation and rape  have been showing upward trend, even after supreme court's  judgement of the 2012 Delhi gangrape. It is a clear indication of the fact a harsher punishment to the culprits does not affect that much. It has failed to create fear among criminals. 

Rape cases in fact have increased since then, criminals continue to shock society with heinous crimes. On the other hand, common man expects to secure speedy and inexpensive justice. India currently need a major reform in its criminal justice system- to provide speedy and cost effective justice. 

In India only about 16 out of 100 people booked for criminal offences are finally convicted. Low rate of conviction points to the inefficiency of the criminal justice system of India – which includes the police, prosecutors, and the judiciary. 
This results in a big problem of people losing faith in the criminal justice system of India.

Present status 
-- According to National Crime Bureau data, there is high numbers of cases or the pendency rate with India's courts and police. 
--The courts are overburdened with cases. 
--Crimes against women, such as rapes and dowry deaths, honour killing, mob lynching continue to see a low conviction rate, of around 20% Under-trial prisoners are kept in overcrowded jails pending investigation and trial. 
-- Many of them are from weaker sections of society who are unable to get bail or proper legal assistance. 
-- Functions such as crime investigation. Riot control, intelligence gathering, in such activities police show insufficiency. 
Enormous shortfalls in the number of police chowkis, weapons and forensic science laboratories. 
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Present crisis 
India faces an acute shortage of policemen, judges, prosecutors and inadequate judicial infrastructure. As of 1 January 2017, the vacancy rate among police officers across the country including civil and armed section was about 22%.
Uttar Pradesh has the highest vacancy rate with more than half of sanctioned posts vacant. The number of police personnel and judges as per capita in India is lower than most other G-20 nations. 
State governments have not implemented all the steps suggested for police reforms recommended by committees appointed from time to time. 

Let's understand what is the criminal justice system? 
The Criminal Justice System includes the institutions or agencies and processes established by a government to control crime in the country. This includes components like police and courts. 
The aim of the Criminal Justice System is to protect the rights and personal liberty of individuals and the society against its invasion by others. 
The Criminal Law in India is contained in a number of sources – The Indian penal code of 1860, the protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, dowry prohibition Act, 1961 and the schedule castes and scheduled tribe (prevention of Atrocities) ACT, 1989. 
Criminal can impose penalties on those violate the established laws. The criminal law and criminal procedure are in the concurrent list of the seventh schedule of the constitution. 

Why reform of criminal justice system is necessary? 
As per the latest figures there is a pendency of more than three crore cases out of which almost two crores are criminal cases. Besides, criminal Law of India is replica of colonial times. Biasness has resulted in rich people escaping law and the jail is more often full of the unprivileged class of society. 
It does not deter criminals because of the delay and uncertainties involved in its process and ridiculously in effective punishment it imposes on those few who get convicted.
 It also puts heavy economic costs on the state for its maintenance without commensurate benefits in return, also more than 30 million criminal cases are still pending in the system, and other 10 million or more cases are being added every year. 

What major steps can bring major reform in Indian criminal justice system? 
In India legal system there is an urgent need to take action to build faith of citizens. Police has to come under judicial scrutiny for the encounters and actions which violates human rights. This is a basic requirement specified in all the state police rules, since the police is a vital part of the criminal justice system.  
It is necessary for institute to get a wider spectrum of reforms rather than focusing simply police reforms. 
The National police commission, in one of its reports, had made a specific suggestion for the constitution of a criminal justice review commission. 
The thrust of the existing directive of the supreme court is limited to postings, transfers of personnel, policies, the creation of security commissions at the state and the national levels, the separation of investigation from law and order, and, the constitution of a police complaints authority at various levels.  
A number of glaring malpractices, including the one of fake encounters are clear manifestations of the lack of confidence in the existing system even at the level of senior police functionaries themselves. Separation of investigation from law and order can be very fruitful. 
There are several other police procedure of investigation including recording of statements, confessions, etc. which have now become outdated, considering that they are codified in 1890. The code of criminal procedure was indeed amended in 1973, but the police procedure did not undergo much change, in order to ensure greater accountability, for example, the refusal to register a complaint regarding the commission of a crime can be made a punishable for the police. 

Conclusion  
India is a populated country, and so the crimes are going to be higher. Tackling these severe crisis will require more resources for both the police and the judiciary. 
The whole system from low to high level should know how to work smartly, as well as adoption of higher technologies is a need. There is also a need to develop expertise in Evidence-based policing by majority in IPS. The number of forensic science institution with modern technologies such as DNA fingerprinting technology should be enhanced. Inquisitorial system of investigation can be brought into practice as followed in countries such as Germany and franc, where a judicial magistrate supervises the investigation. 
Malimath Committee report which made recommendations in 2003 can be used as a guide to reform the 'Police System".

Note – Malimath committee recommendation to reform criminal justice system.