No need to amend law on rape, effective implementation is all that is needed: SC

FP

The Supreme Court on Wednesday noted that there was no need to amend existing laws relating to rape since legal provisions already provided for completion of the trial within two months.

"It is all about the implementation. The only thing you have to do is to implement the existing laws. We have also clarified in several cases. No further amendment is required in the law as it sets the deadline of two months for finishing the trial in rape cases," a bench of Justices D K Jain and J S Khehar said while citing the amendment in Criminal Procedure Code, 2009.

A proviso to Section 309 says: "Provided that when the inquiry or trial relates to an offence under sections 376 to 376D of the Indian Penal Code, the inquiry or trial shall, as far as possible, be completed within a period of two months from the date of commencement of the examination of witnesses."

Justice Jain was categorical that the law for expeditious trial was already in place, and the issue pertained to its strict implementation. The bench was hearing a matter concerning dogged trials in cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. While going through suggestions from Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra, the bench also contemplated digitising all relevant documents in a criminal trial to quicken the process.

"Can we direct that chargesheet and documents be supplied in electronic form given the fact that a lot of time is wasted in supplying copies to the accused," the court asked the ASG.

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