Pendency in the Indian Criminal Process: A Creature of Crisis of Flawed Design?
23 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2018 Last revised: 27 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 25, 2018
More than two hundred million cases are pending across trial courts in India today, and a majority of these are criminal trials. Despite legislative innovation in 1973 designed to achieve speedy case disposition, and the introduction of plea-bargaining in 2005, the rise in case pendency continues unabated. This paper argues that while reform efforts have primarily focused on enhancing supply-side factors - more judges, more courts, more time - this is hardly a sufficient basis for dealing with the problem. Together with this, a closer look must be had at the serious flaws in how the Indian criminal process is designed, which engender delays. If governments in India hope to curb delays, resolving these flaws is as necessary – if not more – as increased government spending on the judiciary and imposing time-limits on litigants.
Keywords: Criminal Process, Case Pendency, Criminal Procedure, India, Plea Bargaining, Delays
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