States must focus on justice delivery: Home Secy

Union Home Secretary RK Singh on Satuirday said they were more focussed on maintaining law and order rather than delivering justice to citizens.

Updated: Sep 29, 2012, 20:01 PM IST

New Delhi: Criticising the states for their alleged apathy in ensuring quick conclusion of probes and criminal cases in courts, Union Home Secretary RK Singh on Saturday said they were more focussed on maintaining law and order rather than delivering justice to citizens.

He advocated giving incentives to prosecution for quick delivery of justice through conviction of criminals.

The Home Secretary said the situation in forensic science laboratories in the states was "horrendous" as any report of any test comes with a delay of two to three years.

"Nobody takes any interest in states. There is no chemical, nobody goes and see what is the status of state forensic science laboratory....Their vacancy is huge," he said at a function at LNJN National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science here.

Singh said there was a disconnect which needed to be addressed and it would be addressed only when state governments start looking at delivery of justice instead of law and order as their primary responsibility.

"What is the focus today? I think we are all responsible for that. Focus is law and order. Maintain peace, maintain law and order. That`s it. Nobody sits down and analyses it -- where we are going as far as investigation and prosecution is concerned. Nobody does that. We need to stop talking about law and order and start talking about delivery of justice," he said.

Singh said some solutions have been offered which included separation of investigation from law and order and bringing professionalism in probe.

"We need professionalism in investigation. Scientific investigation to any case is something we are still aspiring for. Most police stations do not have even the basic equipment and kits for even lifting fingerprints. The scientific investigation is a far, far cry. Unless we take steps in professionalising our investigation, we will not be able to deliver our justice," he said.

Singh said the central government keeps writing to the state governments for improving the criminal justice delivery system but of no avail.

"Law and order, police, justice are state subjects. We can write, we can incentivise. We have been writing to states for separation of law and order from investigation. It is not happening. I think we need to incentivise it.

"For that we need to find someone. Fund is of course another problem. It is the primary duty of a sovereign country to provide justice to its citizen. I think we need to find money somewhere. I think I will be able to pursue my colleagues in Finance Ministry. We need to incentivise. I think that would be the first step," he said.