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Draft Rules Of Criminal Practice : Supreme Court Asks Registrar Generals Of High Courts To Appear If Response Not Given Within Two Weeks

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
19 Jan 2021 1:56 PM GMT
Draft Rules Of Criminal Practice : Supreme Court Asks Registrar Generals Of High Courts To Appear If Response Not Given Within Two Weeks
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that the High Courts should submit their responses through Registrar Generals within two weeks to the draft criminal rules prepared by Senior Advocates Sidharth Luthra and R Basant.The apex court further ordered that Registrar Generals of the High Courts which fail to submit the reports within the said time period will have to appear before the Supreme...

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that the High Courts should submit their responses through Registrar Generals within two weeks to the draft criminal rules prepared by Senior Advocates Sidharth Luthra and R Basant.

The apex court further ordered that Registrar Generals of the High Courts which fail to submit the reports within the said time period will have to appear before the Supreme Court on the next hearing date.

The direction was passed by a bench comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justices L Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran in the suo moto case "IN RE: TO ISSUE CERTAIN GUIDELINES REGARDING INADEQUACIES AND DEFICIENCIES IN CRIMINAL TRIALS".

The Court had earlier noted that the some of the deficiencies in criminal trials were attributable to rules of criminal practice prevalent in many states. Therefore, the SC had asked Senior Advocates Sidharth Luthra, R Basant and Advocate K Parameshwar to submit a report on modifications on criminal rules of practice. They submitted 'Draft Rules of Criminal Practice' in March 2020, after holding consultations with various High Courts(draft may be read here).

Following that, on October 27, 2020, the Court had asked the High Courts to give their responses to the draft rules.

Today, Senior Advocate Luthra told the bench that only the High Courts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Allahabad and Delhi gave their responses to the draft rules.

"As many as 20 High Courts have chosen not to respond", Luthra submitted.

Taking serious note of this, the CJI-led bench ordered :

"In such circumstances, we consider it necessary to call upon the High Courts to submit their reports within 2 weeks. In case HCs cannot do so, the Registrar General of the HC shall remain present in this court on the next hearing date".

The bench also clarified that the reply must be a "substantive reply" and not just a formal reply.

"They may give suggestions to the draft rules or may accept the rules and give a statement regarding willingness to implement the rules in HC", the CJI orally said.

The bench noted in the order that it had earlier issued notices to the Registrar Generals of High Courts and Advocate Generals of States after observing that the deficiencies in trials were found attributable to criminal rules of practice in force.

In a related development, the Supreme Court has issued another peremptory direction to the High Courts and Director Generals of Police of States to submit their responses to the suggestions made by amicus curiae regarding steps to expedite trial in cases relating to dishonour of cheques under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.

That order was passed in the suo moto case "IN RE EXPEDITIOUS TRIAL OF CASES UNDER SECTION138 OF N.I. ACT 1881", in which also Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra is made the amicus curiae.

The CJI-led bench noted that out of 25 High Courts, only 14 High Courts have responded to the preliminary report of the amicus curiae and only 11 High Courts have responded to the NALSA draft scheme on trial of cheque bounce cases.

"In these circumstances, having regard to the importance of the matter, for the administration of justice in various states, we are of the view that the High Courts through their Registrar Generals and States/UTs through their DGPs shall submit the response to this court within four weeks. In case, the High Courts and States/UTs do not submit their response, the Registrar Generals of HC and Director Generals of Police of States shall remain present in this court with necessary authorization from their government," the SC ordered.

Click here to read/download the order










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