Human Rights Law Network


Criminal Justice

E-mail Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) PDF

Two central philosophies anchor the commonly accepted notion of criminal justice. The first is a zealous requirement for increased conviction rates. The second is the perception that those people in prison deserve punishment rather than rehabilitation. Both of these philosophies have especially grave consequences for the poor and marginalized. In this context, the Criminal Justice Initiative provides pro bono and low cost legal aid service to undertrials and convicted prisoners who are unable to pay for their legal representation. Our work is to defend civil liberties and to create a more humane criminal justice system. The emphasis is on greater access to justice for the poor, workers, disabled, aged, sick, tribal, women, dalit, juveniles and other minorities.

What We Do?

One of our main focus areas is work inside the prison, as we believe in corrections via jails and prisons, which can only be understood by reviewing prison conditions and capital punishment laws. We work with progressive prison administrators and police personnel to set up legal aid clinics in prisons with the objective of representing indigent undertrials. Since 2002, we have been instrumental in setting up a legal aid mechanism for prisoners in Delhi. Though the Indian judiciary makes use of death penalty, HRLN strongly believes in the abolition of the death penalty.

Issues Of Concern

  • Prison Conditions
  • Practice of Death Penalty
  • Legislative, Executive and Judicial Expansion of Police Powers

Major Impacts

We have represented the poor and marginalized and have highlighted that a large number of prisoners are kept in prisons without being produced in the courts on the dates fixed for their trial or in connection with remand. (See: Rajendra Bidkar and Ors Vs. The State of Maharashta)

Our team is at the forefront in regard to its reform work in prisons, playing a pivotal role in implementation of the Mulla Committee recommendations and the DK Basu guidelines layed down by the Supreme Court. Strongly condemning custodial torture and violence, our team in Mumbai documented ten cases of custodial violence in Maharashtra over a period of two months. Subsequently, the court asked for magisterial enquiry report. Our team went on to submit guidelines to be followed for the prevention of such occurences in the future. Another petition in the Bombay High Court asked for improving the visiting condition of prisoners and their families (See: Kavita Kaushik vs State of Maharashtra).

Another landmark case decided in the Bombay High Court resulted in the release of hundreds of under-trial prisoners, who had languished in prisons for far beyond the maximum term of their punishment, due to slow court procedures. (See: Shabnam Miniwaalla Vs. State of Maharashtra). However, statistics still demonstrate that 70% of India’s prison inmates are undertrials and much remains to be done to improve the criminal justice system of the country.

Contact
litigation.delhi@hrln.org

“The use of extra-judicial means pervades every facet of the criminal justice system in every Indian state, remaining an enduring legacy and everyday reality for millions of citizens. Instead of introducing reforms in the prevailing justice system and ensuring basic protection of the rights of the poor and minority groups, the government, aided by popular media, is calling for more stringent and oppressive laws.”

Film

Watch Voice of Victims - HRLN's Story

Watch Manipur In the Shadow of ASFA

Watch Police Torture

Books

Promote & Support Human Rights Law Network !

 

Compendium

Human Rights Law Network Compendium

Combat Law

Combat Law

Contact Us

Human Rights Law Network
c/o Socio-Legal Information Centre
576, Masjid Road, Jungpura
New Delhi - 110014
+91-11-24374501
+91-11-24379855
+91-11-24374502 (Fax)
contact@hrln.org

Facebook_Human Rights Law Network Youtube_Human Rights Law Network Twitter_Human Rights Law Network
BlogSpot_Human Rights Law Network LinkedIN_Human Rights Law Network Google Group_Human Rights Law Network

IPT

IPT

Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) is a division of the Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC). SLIC is a non-profit legal aid and educational organization, registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860, Indian Public Trust Act, 1950 and the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976.

HRLN is a division of the Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC). SLIC is a non-profit legal aid and educational organization, registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860, Indian Public Trust Act, 1950 and the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976.