Claiming that the proposed changes in the Jan Vishwas Bill would help dispense speedy justice, noted jurist and Rajya Sabha MP Mahesh Jethmalani stopped just short of saying that the bar has an entrenched interest in delaying matters.
Sharing his view on the issue of “Rewriting India’s Criminal Justice System” at the Festival of Ideas, organised here by NewsX, The Sunday Guardian and India News that are a part of the iTV Network, Jethmalani denied there was any political motive behind the proposed legal reform.
His co-penalist and Rajya Sabha MP, Vivek Tankha, claimed that there seemed to be excessive haste in pushing judicial reforms. “There should have been a larger debate and discussion on the issue,” he said, hinting that the change in the criminal justice systems seems to have been carried for the sake of change.
Jethmalani said court appearances through video conference would greatly speed up justice and help reduce judicial backlog. He also pointed to the introduction of community service as the punishment for first-time offenders for offence of defamation and said this could help people like Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who are facing such charges.
In another session on “Continuing Legal Education for Judges”, Jindal Global University, VC, C. Raj Kumar called for reimagining the need, in terms of curriculum and pedagogy, for training of judges. Calling for the need to reduce the burden on judges and freeing up their time for updating knowledge and perspectives, Raj Kumar said the judicial officers need a lot more time for intellectual engagement.