Mr. Ravi. B. Naik is an eminent lawyer practicing at Karnataka High Court.

Conversation with Mr. Justice Ravi. B. Naik, Former Judge, High Court of Karnataka


Mr. Ravi. B. Naik is an eminent lawyer practicing at Karnataka High Court. He enrolled himself at Karnataka High Court in the year 1980 and practiced till 2001. Initially he was working under the guidance of his father Mr. B.G Naik who was also an advocate at High court of Karnataka. Later in the year 2001 he was appointed as judge at Karnataka High court. He held the post till the year 2008 and later resigned and continued his practice at High court as senior advocate.

In an interview with Indian National Bar Association’s delegate, Mr. Ravi .B. shared his views regarding various topics related to Criminal Justice system and also gave his suggestions how it can be made more effective. He also has given valuable suggestions to the young upcoming lawyers who would like to build their carrier in the field of Criminal Justice.

1. Sir, what would make a good trail advocate?

To make a good trail advocate one should have sound common sense. He should be well equipped with the provisions of Indian Evidence Act. Mastery of the facts on hand and modulation of specific defense is a must before commencing of a case.

2. Sir, what do you think most criminal lawyers need to improve upon?

Most of the criminal lawyers don’t take a grip of case on hand in the background of Indian Evidence Act as such is admissible material creeps into record spoiling the fiber of the defense. Omissions which result in contradictions are to be given importance which are rarely done by Criminal lawyer. Admissibility of confessions are to be confined to the permissible admissibility in law like ‘’fact recovered’’.

3. Sir, what are your views regarding capital punishment?

As regard to the capital punishment, the saying goes ‘’ what can’t be given can’t be taken ‘’. As a human being can’t give life he can’t take life, if taken it becomes judicial murder. Law must be reformative and punitive. Capital punishment has not reduced crimes. It doesn’t send any deterrent signal to the society as such. So it’s not advisable in the advanced 21st century.

4. Sir, is there any crime that you would find it difficult to defend?

Heinous crimes, crimes against the nation, crimes by hardened criminals will normally not get any supportive evidence to prove them guilty because the society and the public at large fear giving evidence against them. Thus it will be an easy cake walk for the criminals to avoid punishments. Where as an innocent gullible people are falsely implicated and as law depends upon the vocal, circumstantial evidence which can be manipulated and created it would be difficult to defend such person. Honesty in the investigation is a must.

5. Sir, do you think there is an inequality in the Criminal Justice system on the basis on economic status of people in the society?

Criminal Justice policy treats have and have not on ‘Par’. There is no inequality either in the trail or Justice delivering system and penalizing policy. As such am not with an agreement to this statement that there is inequality on the basis of economic status.

6. Sir, what are your recommendations regarding the steps to be taken to prevent the youth violence which is prevailing in our society at large?

Majority of youth in our country are law abiding, a fraction of them who are misguided are restoring to violence. Good education, imbibing good morals would prevent them from violence. But however on the national scale if there is radicalization, brainwash to go against the society and country the same is to be dealt with the deterrent laws as it is a sensitive issue and common law can’t deal with it.

7. Sir, what are your views regarding ‘’3 strikes and you are out’’ legislation implemented at USA to punish the repeated offenders. Do think this legislation should be implemented in our country?

This policy is already in existence in our Criminal Justice System. It is not confined or specified as 3 strikes and you are out but if the offender is a habitual offender he is punished deterrently.

8. Sir, what are your views regarding Juvenile Justice System in our country?

The crime rate by the Juveniles and the commission of offence of heinous crimes like Nirbhaya case go to establish that a Juvenile criminal is still dealt with ‘’Kid-Glouse’’, so the victims of such crimes will not get required justice. A Juvenile who is sufficiently knowledgeable of the consequences of the crime should be punished like that of a regular criminal irrespective of his age. Only an innocent Juvenile not knowing the consequences of his actions resulting in crime can be given the benefit dealing his case with Juvenile laws.

9. Sir, what are your views regarding Indian crimes issues from global perspective?

Indian Judicial system dealing with crimes is well accepted by the world at large as we have inherited the policy of dealing with crime from English. Penal Code was codified in 1860, Evidence Act IN 1872 and the Criminal Code was modulated to suit the present circumstance in the year 1973. Except for Muslim nation rest of all the other countries by and large adopt the system we follow.

Interview By: Spandana Nagesh

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