CJI: Probe needs & privacy rights must be balanced | India News

NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud on Monday disapproved of “unwarranted” confiscation of personal devices during raids by law-enforcing and investigating agencies, saying the need for searches and seizures for investigation had to be balanced with an individual’s right to privacy.
The CJI also praised the newly enacted Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam for built-in safeguards against misuse.Chandrachud was delivering the 20th DP Kohli Memorial lecture, an annual event organised by CBI in memory of its first director.

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CJI bats for ‘need to uphold due process’ during probes
The topic of this year’s 20th DP Kohli Memorial lecture, which CJI D Y Chandrachud was delivering, was ‘Adopting Technology to Advance Criminal Justice.’
“In the realm of criminal justice, the delicate balance between search and seizure powers and individual privacy rights stands at the cornerstone of a fair and just society,” Chandrachud said. “At the heart of this balance lies the need to uphold due process while ensuring the effective functioning of law-enforcement agencies.
“Instances of raids conducted and incidents of unwarranted confiscation of personal devices highlight the pressing need to strike a balance between investigative imperatives and individual privacy rights,” the CJI said, in the presence of home secretary Ajay Bhalla, CBI director Praveen Sood, CVC P K Srivastava and DoPT secretary S Radha Chauhan.
The CJI praised BNSS, which will replace Criminal Procedure Code, and BSA, which will come in place of the Indian Evidence Act. He said the two Parliament-enacted codes were significant steps towards modernising the justice system.
“From the initial registration of an FIR to the final delivery of judgment, every stage of criminal investigation is slated to be recorded digitally under the purview of the proposed legislation. This comprehensive approach ensures a seamless flow of information and is intended to facilitate better coordination and collaboration among stakeholders involved in the investigative and adjudicatory processes,” he said of the laws enacted by Modi govt.
“Summonses can now be issued electronically, and testimonies from witnesses, experts, accused individuals and other parties may also be presented virtually,” the CJI said.

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