Justice through Speedy Trial is the Right Justice: Justice Nagamuthu

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"Justice through speedy trial is the right justice," stated Justice S. Nagamuthu, former Judge of the Madras High Court and Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court, during a Vartalap, a media workshop organized by the Press Information Office, Chennai. The workshop was held today at the Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University campus to educate journalists about the new criminal laws which will come into effect on July 1, 2024.

The new laws, which received the President's assent, include the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023 (Indian Judiciary Act), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita 2023 (Indian Civil Protection Act), and Bharatiya Sakshaya Adhiniyam 2023 (Indian Evidence Act).

In his keynote speech, Justice Nagamuthu emphasized the critical role journalists play in informing the public about these new laws. He urged journalists to report responsibly, with a focus on public interest and dignity. He also urged the journalists to strictly avoid disclosing the identities of victims of sexual assault. He advised journalists against relying on superficial information when reporting crime incidents.

Justice Nagamuthu clarified that cases registered until midnight on June 30, 2024, will be under the old laws, while those registered from the early hours of July 1, 2024, will fall under the new laws. The new criminal laws include provisions for community service in lieu of punishment for certain crimes, downgrading the severity of some punishments from death penalty to life imprisonment and from life imprisonment to fixed-term imprisonment.

He highlighted the importance of promptly concluding cases pending under the old laws, despite initial practical challenges. Justice Nagamuthu stressed the necessity of updating colonial-era criminal laws to better suit the contemporary practices of India.

Dr. Gowri Ramesh, Registrar of Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, provided an overview of the new laws. She detailed the key changes and innovations, emphasizing their relevance and importance in the current legal and social context. Dr. Ramesh highlighted how these laws aim to modernize the legal framework and ensure more effective and humane administration of justice.

Shri. M. Annadurai, Additional Director General of the Press Information Office, Chennai, provided insights into the crucial role of the media in this transition. He emphasized the media's responsibility to accurately convey the changes and implications of the new laws to the public, ensuring that the information is both comprehensive and accessible. He highlighted the importance of media literacy in maintaining public trust and upholding democratic values.

The event was also attended Smt. Leela Meenakshi, Director of the Central Bureau of Communications, Shri. P. Arunkumar, Joint Director of the Press Information Office, and Deputy Director Smt. J. Vijayalakshmi. Shri. Balaji, Dean of Dr. Ambedkar Law College, and over 200 law students also participated in the event.

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