From Mohammed Siddique, TwoCircles.net
Hyderabad: The Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has hailed the Islamic penal code saying they were effective in deterrence against the criminal offenders. Addressing a workshop on "Growing Crimes – deterrent punishment : search for appropriate theory of punishment", organized by the organization of Retired Judges and NALSAR University at the Andhra Pradesh High Court Balakrishnan gave the example of Gulf countries. "People say the laws in those countries were harsh but it is a fact that because of the harsh punishments, the crime rate in those countries is very low". Women can move around even at midnight with out any fear, he said. Even traffic rules were so strict that there were very few traffic accidents in those countries.
He recalled that till 1857, Islamic penal system was in force in India and the law and order situation in the country was very good. "The introduction of Indian Penal Code was a good move but the law and order situation in the country did not remain the same", Chief Justice said.
Pointing out that in contrast to the Gulf countries, India was a democratic country. "But in our country neither the women can move around with out fear nor there is any respect for the traffic rules", he said.
Pointing out that there were 8000 judges in the country to deal with the criminal offences, the Chief Justice expressed his concern over the huge disparity in sentences awarded by different judges for the similar crimes. The disparity is so huge that they range from six months to life imprisonment for the crimes of the similar nature, he said.
He was also unhappy that the system of granting bails was not working properly and some bail petitions were pending in the courts for fifteen years. "As a results jail in the country were full of under trial prisoners".
Justice AR Lakshmanan, chairman, Law Commission of India said that 56 lakh criminal cases were pending in the courts in the country.