WHAT IS THE CASE?
• During the Suo moto proceedings related to inadequacies and inefficiencies in the criminal trial system, the Supreme Court sought the response of all High Courts on the implementation of Draft Rules of Criminal Practice prepared by the amici curiae (someone who assists the Court by offering information and expertise).
• Senior Advocate Luthra who is one of the amicus curiae appointed by the court in the Suo moto matter, suggested to adopt draft criminal rules in the administrative side by the High Courts.
• The SC sought to hear HCS' viewpoints on the matter of draft criminal rules before issuing any directions although,Luthra claimed to have drafted the same after taking the High Courts' suggestions into consideration.
• In March 2017, the Supreme Court had taken Suo moto cognizance(taking the case on their own) on the issue of "inadequacies and inefficiencies in the criminal trial" based on suggestions of Senior Advocate R. Basant who was also appointed as amicus curiae in the matter.
• It was highlighted by Advocate Basant that certain documents for instance list of witnesses or list of exhibit were annexed to the Judgement and in the order of the trial court are some features non-existent in the Rules of some High Courts although there are some beneficial provisions in the rules.
• He further opined, in the interest of better administration of criminal justice, uniformity, and acceptance of best practices prevailing over variousparts of India, the Supreme Court may consider the issue of certain general guidelines to be followed across the board by all Criminal Courts in the country.
• Post consideration to this, the SC issued notice to all the important authorities of High Courts so that general consensus could be arrived to amend the relevant rules for propagation of uniform best practices across the countries.
• In March 2020, pursuant to the directions issued by the Supreme Court, the amici submitted a Report outlining the Draft Rules of Criminal Practice, 2020 The Draft Rules were prepared after receiving responses from 15 States/Union Territories and 21 High Courts in order to recognize the diverse practices prevalent in various States and High Courts and to ensure that the same was compliant with the Code of Criminal Procedure.