Reform Committee directed by Madras HC gets sidelined by SC

The Madras High Court’s direction to form a committee for reforms gets sidelined by the Supreme Court. A heterogeneous Committee of named persons for giving the recommendation that can be practiced for reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of the convict/accused person to society and best practices for improving the investigation quality as these were the central aim of the criminal law.

The jurisdiction of the high court came to an end when an application under section 439 of the code to grant bail was finally decided. The single bench had committed grave illegality in retaining the file after a grant of bail to the accused. Finally, the state had to approach the Supreme Court, it is unrealistic for the court to assume that it can provide solutions to vexed issues that involve drawing balances between conflicting dimensions that travel beyond the legal plane. Courts are concerned with issues of constitutionality and legality. It is difficult to perceive how matters to which solutions may traverse the fields of ideology, social theory, policy-making, and experimentation can be regulated by this Court such as by issuing a mandamus.

We find that learned Single Judge has collated data from the State and made it part of the order after the decision of the bail application as if the Court had the inherent jurisdiction to pass any order under the guise of improving the criminal justice system in the State.

The jurisdiction of the Court under Section 439 of the Code is limited to grant or not to grant bail pending trial. Even though the object of the Hon’ble Judge was laudable but the jurisdiction exercised was clearly erroneous. The effort made by the Hon’ble Judge may be academically proper to be presented at an appropriate forum but such directions could not be issued under the color of office of the Court.