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Government to revisit Malimath report on criminal justice system

Government to revisit Malimath report on criminal justice system

Malimath Committee:

Malimath Committee is the Committee on Reforms of the Criminal Justice System, or the Justice Malimath Committee, was constituted by the Home Ministry in 2000 by then Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, who also held the Home portfolio. It was headed by Justice V.S. Malimath, former Chief Justice of the Karnataka and Kerala High Courts.

Recommendations by the Committee:

  • The Committee suggested that constituting a National Judicial Commission and amending Article 124 to make impeachment of judges less difficult.
  • The Committee however, feels that the aberrations in the conduct of judges can be checked or even corrected if the problem is noticed at the earliest and efforts made to correct them.
  • The Malimath committee has recommended that In the High Court, the Chief Justice is regarded as only the first among the equals. He does not have any charge over his peers, he only holds the power for constituting benches and assigning the work. Any decision to be taken should come through the consensus.
  • It had suggested that Section 54 of Evidence Act be substituted by a provision to the effect that in criminal cases, evidence of bad character and antecedents is relevant. “Just as evidence of good character of the accused is relevant, evidence regarding bad character of the accused should also be relevant.

The Malimath panel had made 158 recommendations but these were never implemented. The subsequent UPA governments from 2004-2014 did not act on the report either.

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