Crime deterrence challenge for criminal justice system: Sathasivam

Saturday, Mar 28, 2015,20:45 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | Kerala Governor,Mr Justice (Retd) P Sathasivam, today hinted the biggest challenge confronting the criminal justice system was how to deter, investigate and prosecute crime related to IT in a global marketplace.
Inaugurating a state-level plenary of public prosecutors and workshop on ‘Challenges posed by modern technology to the criminal justice administration, organised by the Director General of Prosecution here, he said ‘as a consequence, controlling computer crimes required apart from inter-country cooperation, a techno-friendly domestic investigative team with proficient prosecution wing to deter crimes in this 21st century.’
Pointing out technology took a central position in criminal administration, he said ‘there is strong need to exchange information among the agencies in the central administration but very little is known about their implementation in public prosecutor’s office.’
The relevance of technology in public prosecutors was vast and it mainly governs four areas, including case investigations, case management, interoperability between public prosecutors offices, courts, police and prisons and also for sharing prosecutorial information between countries in cyber crimes, he added.
‘Information Technology had saturated all phases of administration of justice.    In this contemporary era, technology has become a central force in the field of criminal justice and has mandated a fundamental rethinking of legislative policies pertaining to security, privacy and criminal activity,’ the Governor said and suggested the agencies in criminal administration had begun to embrace the promise of technological change in criminal justice system.
Stating the number of electronic systems now available to make criminal justice jobs more effective was rapidly growing, Mr Justice Sathasivam said ‘of course, criminals also utilise these technologies.  ‘So professionals in the industry have to remain one step ahead in technology to combat illicit usage,’ he added.
Thus, the challenges of technology were facing the criminal justice system could be easily be overcome with adequate training and periodic updating of knowledge in technology field among the prosecution wing, which was indispensable of part of criminal administration in the country, he suggested.
Stating investigation and prosecution were two different facets in the administration of criminal justice and both were to play complementary roles in the judicial system, he said ‘it is clear there needs to be an effective and efficient working relationship between the two agencies.’
Reminding the prosecutors fill a unique role in the administration of justice, he said the role of public prosecutor was not per se to convict the accused but to act as the agents of justice in assisting the court of law to deliver verdict in a given case.
The prosecutors should exercise the sovereign power of the state while performing its duties by representing the best interest of the community, which not only include prosecuting crimes but also honouring the rights of the accused, which required him to keep a watch on the investigation as well but without intruding the same,  he added.
‘Information Technology in criminal justice will continue to challenge us to think about how we turn information into knowledge, how can we use that knowledge and for what purposes,’ he said.
Kerala High Court Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan presided over the function while Delhi High Court Judge, Mr Justice S Ravindra Bhat delivered keynote address.