It is to be noted that India is still ruled by laws and rule books that an imperial power wrote up while ruling India. At the time of framing this document, It is seventy one years since Indian independence from British Rule, and these laws and rules or Rule Books have, mostly, not been reviewed, leave alone amended or rewritten to suit the needs of Modern India. Patchy and infrequent changes have been the norm under various government since independence.
The IAS, IFS, IPS, State Civil Services, Judiciary, are all being run by the rule books that were written by a foreign power to suit and serve its purpose.
The Civil Code, Criminal Code and all related Tools and Rules of Governance are inherited from the erstwhile British rulers and still in use. We have been too lazy or unthinking to even looking in that direction; or else a deliberate decision to carry on with these archaic rules and laws must have been taken with the view to hoodwink independent India and its people and continue to suppress them like the foreign power did, as also to perpetuate the power of the ruling political and bureaucratic elite.
Many laws and rules are archaic and unfair, not within the principle of natural justice, which must be the overarching frame for any legal system to be fair. All of them were intended to benefit a foreign sovereign and not the Indian public.
The Rising India Party will act to immediately change this narrative and states that if India is to finally and truly shake off the foreign yoke and emerge as an independent sovereign in its own right nation, the entire system inherited from the British has to be dispensed with and replaced with one that is truly Indian, framed by and for Indians.
The Teams set up around the Core New Deal Group that are entrusted to contour the New Deal will be tasked to review the new Rule Books that are proposed by The Rising India Party in this document to be used by the government and Civil Services to govern India.
The mandate of The Rising India Party is to identify and discard all rules that are archaic and do not suit the Indian civilizational narrative and current situation and / or civilizational precepts.
The Rising India Party is writing in new laws and rules of governance that are needed for managing a modern dynamic nation with the view of ensuring speed of action, fair play, natural justice.
These are designed with strong checks and balances to power across all departments while injecting efficiency of communication, decision making and day to day operations, even while retaining those rules and / or laws that make sense and work in the best interest of modern Indian Polity from the old rule books.
The laws that are on the statute books as they relate to the Civil Procedure Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, and Personal Law etc. are to be similarly reviewed and re written to suit a modern dynamic country that must take its rightful place in the comity of nations.
The new rules and / or laws must be predicated on the proposition of fairness, equity, natural justice are woven into the legal and administrative fabric.
The Rising India Party has designed these laws and rules that are founded on an incentive based system for clean, speedy and efficient delivery of justice and for each administrative position to which each set of rules apply
The Rising India Party, on winning elections, will carry out the following acts:
The government would suspend the Civil Laws with immediate effect and will declare a moratorium of 12 to 18 months wherein, in that period there will be no sittings by any court on civil matters.
Criminal Code would continue to function in an abridged version even as it is thoroughly reviewed, reframed and reset.
In this period, The Rising India Party will form Law Reform Plans Board Groups comprising a mix of people from within the Legal system, i.e. lawyers, judges, academics, and in addition, private citizens from a cross sections of society, corporate nominees etc. so that the deliberations are truly representative of the country.
These Groups would be multiple and for all modules including the Civil, Criminal and other Law heads.
These groups would be tasked with line by line examination of all existing laws with the view to identifying those that need to be dropped, amended or retained. They would effectively re-write the Civil and Criminal Laws that govern Indians. Laws inherited from the British essentially need to be dumped and new ones written with the Indian ethos in mind and while there can be inspiration from other countries, in principle, the nation cannot be hostage to laws written to protect the interests of a foreign sovereign who wrote these to protect its own interests.
The government would also form Audit Boards with similar mix of people to form these Audit groups. The Plans and Audit Board Groups will be primarily tasked with the following:
To examine and audit all existing laws with the view to identifying those that are unsuitable to Indian society and the Indian civilizational narrative and need to be dropped; those that need to be amended, and those that need to be retained.
To Audit the entire functioning of the Legal system as it is at present from multiple parameters
To clean up the record keeping with intensive digitization drive wherein all files would be scanned and e-filed under appropriate heads and cross dated or sortable in what-ever combination it is required by a functioning system.
To arrive at the case overhang at each court in the country.
The status of each active and unresolved case would be so recorded digitally.
To table and examine the record of all judicial officers including judges, lawyers and all related roles and inter-connections.
To assess staffing levels at all courts in the country
To create lists of all judges and lawyers who are registered and practicing in each court, and undertake an evaluation and assessment based around psychometric profiling and where required polygraph assisted interviews.
To assess modes of how staff are chosen and evaluated currently. This too is a hang-over from the rule books set during British Rule.
To audit the rule books left by the British and identify what needs to be dropped, or amended or added.
This will be entrusted to appropriately constituted Audit Teams, all of which would include representation from the general public, both as oversight and input forums.
During this period of suspension of the Legal system, The Criminal Laws would continue to exist and the criminal courts would continue to function; but only in cases related to major crimes of theft, murder, kidnapping, assault, violence, rape, forced entry, destruction of property, public or private, inciting of violence and other specific headings that are identified and announced.
The Criminal Laws on all heads other than those announced will stand suspended; including in the areas of defamation, conspiracy, sedation etc. which are still a criminal law on the books as it was for and under the British rule.
All such laws that are identified, are to be reviewed with widespread public inputs from the entire cross-section including legal and other professionals, lay-public and thought leaders to enable right and appropriate decisions on whether such laws should come in the purview of Civil laws or other nominated Courts and not under criminal laws, as at present, or be abandoned as the case may be for each law under review.
At the end of this period of suspension, the government will release a new Civil, Criminal and Personal Law code
During the suspension, the entire court and judicial system will be placed on a double shift where in all staff will be tasked with the following in order to get the system to a starting line of a new start and system re-set:
Digitization of all files alongside cataloguing and indexing in cross referenced or easy access and retrieval systems.
This activity will be done in double shifts wherein the working of all staff will be increased to 9 hours per shift, with one hour in three breaks of 30 minutes, and 15 minutes each
Cataloguing of cases by type, age, status, claims summary, evidence or facts summary making part of file access front page to set codes would be carried out.
Case-loads for each category would be arrived at and decisions taken as to methodology to be employed to dispose of these.
Cases that fall under “minor issues” including what may be described as nuisance cases, would be heard by bringing the concerned parties in an arbitration frame wherein all parties to the dispute, their lawyers and designated arbitration “judges” would sit across the table and attempt to resolve disputes fairly on available facts and evidence tabled.
Where appropriate and required, site visits and / or neighborhood interviews would be undertaken to assess and evaluate the truth of each case for decision.