No trial by media, let courts decide cases: CJI

 Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on Saturday expressed concern over ‘trial by media’ in some cases. 
    “It may prejudice the case against the accused,” he said on the sidelines of the National Judicial Academy’s East Zone Regional Judicial Conference in Patna. 
    “Media trial is a matter of grave concern. This should not happen,” Justice Kabir said. “The issue should be left to the courts to decide,” he added. 
    In reply to a question on reducing the age of juvenile from existing 18 to 16 years in the wake of Delhi gang-rape case, he said: “It can be done only by Parliament.” 
    The CJI stressed the need to 
double the number of judicial magistrates for speedy trials and making the system proficient. He said higher courts suffer due to inadequate number of judges. 
    Criminal investigation has to be made prompt and the 
problem of hostile witnesses has to be dealt with by protecting them from all kinds of pressure, he said. Asked if he was satisfied with the level of witness protection, Justice Kabir said it should be more developed. 
    The CJI said the statutes relating to the present criminal justice system are inadequate to face the new types of cases like cyber crimes and juvenile justice. He said the judges need to be sensitive to the feeling of the victims, particularly women and senior citizens, while dealing with the cases of domestic violence. 
    The CJI said both the lawyers and the judges need to be well informed of the facets of law dealing with the criminal justice system.

Justice Altamas Kabir in Patna on Saturday

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