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NLSIU Announces Project on Issues in Pre-Trial Processes

April 5, 2022

NLSIU is excited to announce a research project on issues in pre-trial processes in India. The project, supported by Thakur Foundation, is being led by Dr. Mrinal Satish, Professor of Law, NLSIU.

The project focuses on two broad themes – excessive pre-trial detention, and the scope and implementation of search and seizure provisions in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C) and special criminal statutes. In the context of excessive pre-trial detention, the project will study the extent of unnecessary arrests, and bail related issues. When dealing with search and seizure, it will focus on the impact that quasi-criminal statutes have had on the criminal justice process, and also the emerging issue of search of digital devices. The two-year project will culminate into a comprehensive research report, which will then be converted into a series of academic publications.

About the Project

In examining the question of excessive pre-trial detention, the project will focus on studying and documenting issues such as the nature of offences for which arrests are made, compliance with the Arnesh Kumar guidelines, bail conditions, the use and impact of plea bargaining, among others. On search and seizure, the project will focus on studying, and documenting the implementation and effectiveness of safeguards and protocols to be followed in conducting searches and seizures, the application of search-related protocols and safeguards to searches of digital devices, and the impact of the jurisprudence relating to special criminal statutes on the Cr.P.C.

There has been considerable discussion on pre-trial processes, bail law, plea bargaining, and search and seizures over the last couple of decades. The Law Commission of India in its 268th Report made various recommendations relating to bail law, and multiple judgments of the Supreme Court of India have also focused on reducing unnecessary arrests, and reducing excessive pre-trial detention. This project aims to study issues relating to pre-trial processes from a jurisprudential and comparative lens, and also empirically document implementation of laws, thereby contributing to the literature and discussions on criminal procedure.