NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed all High Courts to adopt the Draft Rules of Criminal Practice, 2021 as part of the rules governing criminal trials in the country.
It has also directed the high courts to ensure that the existing rules, notifications, orders, and practice directions are suitably modified and promulgated within six months.
“If the state government’s co-operation is necessary in this regard, the approval of the concerned department or departments, and the formal notification of the said Draft Rules, shall be made within the said period of six months,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde said.
The apex court also directed the state governments, as well as the Centre to carry out necessary amendments to their police manuals within six months.
High courts have also been asked to hold a preliminary case management hearing at the beginning of all criminal trials.
“This hearing may take place immediately after the framing of the charge. In this hearing, the court should consider the total number of witnesses, and classify them as an eyewitness, material witness, formal witness (who would be asked to produce documents, etc), and experts,” the bench said.
The Draft Rules of Criminal Practice, 2021 deals with various aspects of criminal trial including post mortem report, charge, trial, recording of evidence among others.
According to the draft rules, as per every medico-legal certificate, post-mortem report shall contain a printed format of the human body on its reverse. Injuries, if any, shall be indicated on the sketch.