By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The first meeting of the core advisory group on criminal justice system of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday expressed “serious concerns over the slow pace of reforms in criminal justice system to ensure speedy justice.”

Experts in criminal justice system, which held its first meeting on Wednesday, said that the delay in disposal of cases was leading to human rights violations of under-trials and convicts, the NHRC said in a statement. 

The chairperson of Commission, Justice (retd) AK Mishra said not only were trials getting delayed, but court orders convicting a person also took years to implement. He said digitisation of documents would help in speeding up trials.

Despite the Supreme Court’s directions on police reforms, there had been hardly any change on the ground, NHRC member Justice (retd) MM Kumar, who chaired the meeting, said. He added special laws and fast-track courts could replace certain offences under the IPC in order to reduce the piling up of cases.

The Secretary General of NHRC, Bimbadhar Pradhan, said as per an estimate, there are about 4.4 crore pending cases across the Supreme Court, high courts and district courts. “Since March 2020, about 70 lakh more have been added to the pending cases. In the criminal justice system, focus also needs to be on the victim’s rights and smart policing,” he said, as per an NHRC statement.

Awareness on law among police personnel, study into the rate of conviction of police officials and their non-compliance of law, increasing the number of police personnel, introduction of social workers and psychologists in criminal justice system were some of the recommendations made.