Q1. Sir, what inspired you to practice Criminal Advocacy?
Ans: In India, you don’t choose a line; you work on the case you get. Just like that, I took a case in Assam in the year 1980, where I worked hard and win it, with that from four cases I started getting forty, and from forty to hundred. And with the hard work and dedication, I have achieved what I am today.
Q2. Court has ruled out that Hon’ able Members of Parliament and Member of Legislative Assemble are not barred from practicing as an advocate. What is your take on that?
Ans: Law making and enforcement of law are not enemies. It’s the same job, making of laws you are only trying to understand the value of this contemporary society and making rules for that. Dealing with the social evils including corruption, adulteration, food adulteration, medicine adulteration, lawyers enforce the law. That there is not enough evidence or there is. So I think being a lawyer and a lawmaker is a great assets. Not only to the person consumed but to the institution.
Q3. Sir you have been an advocate, you have also worked as the Additional Solicitor General and Member of Parliament. So we are seen you in all three forms. So what is yours favourite role?
Ans: I was also, a law teacher, I find that there is no other vocation that gives you a challenge everyday and this is the only profession where you learn till you are in active practice. You remain assumed, every case is a challenge you have to understand, and you have to anticipate. Here is a judge who is proceeding, and you don’t which question he is going to ask, not only that whether the answer appeals to him or not. It is the manner in which the matter is been put.
So I think that this is the greatest of all professions because it is the most different thing in life. To be able to change someone else’s mind. And that’s the challenge we take. It’s easy to make up your own mind but it’s not that easy to convince other’s in a matter of seconds on a matter in a couple of minutes about the worth of your case. So that’s what keeps us close and gives us sleepless nights.
Q4.The Member of Parliament and Member of Legislative Assemble are allowed to practice. Bar council has descended the opinion of Supreme Court in news reports, they are of the opinion that it is against the principles of Separation of Power.
Ans: The question is does an advocate has a power? The concept and the practicality of the Separation of Power is for the three pillars of Democracy i.e. Legislative Executive and Judiciary.
In Judiciary we are not exercising powers we are only pleading. And in the Parliament I as a nominee by the President, I am completely at sea. The private members bill that I can move, have hardly even adopted. So we are there because we understand the system, we understand the values which the laws and the constitution propagate and we are able to gravel with the process of law making.
There is no conflict of power; a lawyer either in the parliament or in the court is only exercising his own faculty.
Q5. Is this in line with the Advocates Act and the Bar Council rules?
Ans: It clearly stated by the Supreme Court that they are not bar from Practicing as per the Bar Council rules. That’s the correct law.
In reference to our Delhi Police survey we would like to put up some Questions under your opinion.
Q6. In your opinion does Delhi Police follows rules and guidelines?
Ans: You see we need to understand Police has a very tough job to do. If you have committed a crime and the police have been looking for you, it’s not going to be easy for them to be able to trace you. A crime is something which has happened in the dead of the night. How would you reconstruct it? For that you need an accused, the suspect. The first evidence you need is the suspect’s phone. Where was he? Determine his location which is scientifically conclusive, if he is there then comes the question what was he doing? Now all those interrogation is not evidence but interrogation is the first step by which the investigating officer is trying to unearth the truth which is not an easy job.
He has premunition; he has no super natural power to be able to discover as to who came and committed the crime.
So the police have to everyday in every case has to perform the unpleasant task of arresting somebody and controlling someone who is running away, or controlling of mob which is raining stones on them. It’s true that the police stations in India have turned this into fine art of interrogation and that fine art of interrogation and that fine art is know as third degree torture.
I wish that there would be more dependence on scientific evidence and less reliance on oral witness only then we are going to be able to arrive at the truth. The other thing is police is being subservant to the political masters it is a terrible interference in the task of an investigating officer in being able to makeup his mind as to who committed the crime and how in an unhinged manner. No one should be able to influence him. We need to improve our political system.
Supreme Court has said a number of times; no government is wiling to seed his power because if you’re a minister your power means power over the police to use a stick (danda). And if those are own National truths, the same will be reflected in the police.
Q7. The citizens of India, they believe that the police as very corrupt. And since being in the legal profession, we have worked with police, law and order so we know that there job is not easy. What is your opinion on that?
Ans: Every body is corrupt, which vocation is free of corruption? From hospitals to school admissions there is corruption everywhere. And so many Chief Justices have said that only thirty percent are incorrigible honest, other thirty percent is incorrigibly corrupt and rest are in between.
Now if that so what action do we take? What is our convection rate in corruption cases, in adulteration cases and in other social evils that the society is bedevilled with? The biggest handicap is that own Judiciary takes far too much time to decide the case. If it takes you ten years to decide there is never going to be any justice and every body is going to get corrupt. It is because judiciary is under able to decide anything.
I think that no case should take more then 6 months. What ever we have to do justice and criminal justice is a promise made by the state that we will protect your life and property. They must fulfil that promise. That way criminal justices a first obligation to the state by what we sear on the road the manner on which people are being lynched and the investigation process is completely sum verged; where the victims are being arrested instead of the propagator of the crime. Cow has become more holy than a human being. So there is this complete denial of Justice if no body is going to be able to decide. These case in reasonable time.
Q8. Everywhere there is corruption. The degree of which is very different in the way of life and the mode of which itself. But we have to begin somewhere and we can’t start accepting one institution to start doing a right thing. Sir please put some light on this.
Ans: I agree that there is corruption in justice system. But the problem is we need to deploy technology. We can’t do criminal justice in 21st century with the bullock cart; we need technology.
India is IT super power. We are able to transcribe the technical data for American clients; when they sleep, we work and it is sent back without any flaw.
Why can’t we deploy technology in justice system? Why is the justice system the last priority with the government? Why can’t we have technology in the police station? The forensic team should be available at the crime scene, as to pick up the evidence, so that Arushi case wouldn’t happen. They would be able to test the blood samples, finger prints on the bottle, on the door knob.
So less dependence on human being and greater over on Technology and making it available to every police station, that would help in taking conviction rate to 99 percent like in Japan.
Q9. There is a saying that people can find ways to circumvent even the technology if there is an argument before the Supreme Court in the data privacy and Aadhaar case. Also “If there is data, it can be stolen”. What are your views on this?
Ans: Off-course the data can be stolen, the criminal is one step ahead of the police. And in the rural area the police is going to crime scene in a rickshaw or a cycle.
How do you expect them to lift the finger prints of other valuable evidence? And match it to the data base. Every police station must be provided with technology. Police may be one step behind but they will be able to place reliable evidence before the court and the conviction rated will be higher
Q10. Is it better to spend on advertisement rather that training of police force or recruitment of qualified professionals?
Ans: You see what happens is that the Indian Police has matriculation as qualifying education. Off course you advertise one post and PhDs want to become constable they want to become peons even. Some source of income but the fact is that most of the crime.
Poverty is the biggest crime
And most of the criminals live in the areas and with the result that the police can’t be elitists. The police have to serve that society lives in the slums and the police has to deal with them. Police gets desensitized. We judge police by our own attitude little realizing that the police men deals with the completely uneducated most of the time.
So they get desensitized.
Q11. In a survey, we have received that 80 % women hesitate to approach police or feel uncomfortable for redressed. What is your opinion on that?
Ans: As the supreme Court laid down in the case of Gurmeet Singh it said that the rape law shield has been provide and the identity of the victim will not be reviled, she will be interrogated by a women constable or a police officer, there will be another witness, she will not be asked any questions which make her uncomfortable Questions. Even while in medical examination is done she will not be asked any question regarding to her past because whatever it may be the past of the person; Questions is whether there was consent.
In that relationship, so we try to this but till the level of constable is raised and at least graduate is the minimum qualification for a constable his attitude will remain the same; what everyone may say in the Supreme Court.
Q12. We have law but we still it is happening everywhere. Every government assures every time they setup funds like Nirbhya Fund and others but we don’t see decreasing trend in the crime rate.
Ans: The population is increasing with the limited resources, the elements like under development, poverty, and under education; creating rise in crime rate.
And yet it is lower as compare to developed countries like America and Europe, and that’s because after a strict consideration.
But they say that whether a country depends on the way we treat our suspected criminals. If we are going to treat then with a stick (danda) and interrogate them by hanging them upside down we are not civilized.
Q13. Sir in such a technological advanced stage, the DNA Profiling Bill is still pending. What are your views on that?
Ans: Why should DNA be profiled? All of us are not criminals then why should it be profiled?
When a person is caught police should match his DNA with blood sample. We are not in a totalitarian state in which you are going to keep DNA of everybody where ever you go you are being followed, chased. What kind of society will it be where there is no right of privacy?
We have not demolished our constitution values.
Q14. As per the evidence act, DNA is a proof but it is not a Substantive piece of evidence till date, even for testing and determining. What is your point of view?
Ans: Its opinion evidence but also it’s conclusive. It has been treated as conclusive. If the DNA matching with the blood found on the crime scene it’s conclusive.
Q15. Speedy disposal of cases, Fast Track Court scheme was established in the year 2000 by the government. What is your view on it?
Ans: This is a gimmick, what is a fast track court? One fast track court nine slow track court that’s what it mean and if there is only ten people in a room, you can change in the permutation and combination of the furniture, this will not make more people sit on those chairs.
Fast track courts, it is the constitutional obligation of the state to dispense Justice and it means speedy justice to everybody, not the chosen few.
Q16. Sir I have heard your speech and seen your presentation, which comparison of the use of technology and human efficiency as well so as per the index the Indian Judiciary is the lowest on every level of efficiency. So what’s your opinion on the same?
Ans: I have met judges from across the country and the world, and I find that Indian Judges are very good. They are far more hard working, have great amount of energy, they want to dispense Justice. It’s a different matter that you post 150 cases before a judge so what he going to do.
Q17. Sir we request you to give a message to the future lawyers.
Ans: I would like to say that I and my generation have failed to improve the Criminal Justice System. I wish you good luck. I hope you do something, make it a mission and achieve it.
Student Reporter, INBA