Media focus affects sentencing of undertrials: CJI

Hyderabad (PTI): Media focus affects the process of sentencing and granting bail to undertrials to some extent but the judges should act with a free mind, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan said here on wednesday.
“Media also controls to a great extent. They focus on the case from the very begining of the investigation and trial. And the judge is in a tough situation on granting bail and at various stages.
“I don’t completely blame the media. But media reporting has some effect on the matter of sentencing and the matter of granting bail. The judge should have a free mind, free thinking and be absolutely free from any external interference and unbiased attitude. Free from all prejudice, he must act,” Balakrishnan said.
He was addressing a seminar on ‘Growing Crimes-Deterrent Punishment: Search for an Appropriate Theory of Punishment.’
Speaking on the occasion, Law Commission Chairman and former Supreme Court judge Justice A R Lakshmanan suggested measures to avoid delays in criminal justice administration and to improve the functioning of courts.
More courts should be established in proportion to the increase in population, infrastructure of courts should be updated procedural law should be further simplified by amending Criminal Procedure Code and some of the powers of high court should be extended to the principal sessions judge, he said.
The number of vacation days in the court should be reduced, seminars and symposia should be conducted periodically at district-level to inculcate a sense of responsibility, police and prosecution systems should be immediately reorganised and revamped, he added.
Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court A R Dave and several senior judges participated in the seminar.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
http://www.hindu.com

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