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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Casting off colonial era baggage, India’s criminal justice system ushers in a new era

“Casting off colonial era baggage, India’s criminal justice system ushers in a new era”, First Post, December 26, 2023:

“Ex-Congress stalwart and Constituent Assembly member K Hanumanthaiya had said this on 17 November, 1949: “We hoped for the sweet melodies of veena or sitar, but what we got was the sound of an English band.” He was referring to “colonial continuity” in post-independence India.

Over time, many systems embraced a more Indian identity, but unfortunately, the criminal justice system held on to the laws that the British used against Indians. There was a need for an overhaul and the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, in its 146th report published in 2010, suggested that it’s essential to thoroughly review the country’s criminal justice system.

Earlier, in its 111th and 128th reports, the Parliamentary Committee had emphasised the importance of improving criminal laws through comprehensive legislation rather than making small changes to existing acts. No government took an interest in shedding the shackles of the colonial past as the hangover of colonial continuity gave them comfort…..”

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