A duty rests on the criminal justice system and particularly the magistrate in the trial courts to safeguard the life and liberty of the accused. They are bound to ascertain the necessity of arrest, length of custody and treatment during custody as laid down in the law so that no individual is held against the law of the land, or detained beyond a period that is absolutely required. However, the common malpractices such as unnecessary arrest, delay in first production of the accused before the magistrate, lack of physical production of accused due to shortage of police escorts, mechanical remand, delays in investigation, filing of chargesheet and framing of charges compromise the rights of the individual to have timely and equal access to the law.. As a result, the accused is forced to spend longer period in detention than necessary.
In such a context, we promote court monitoring to ascertain whether procedural safeguards for life and liberty are indeed being implemented by the upholders of the law. We independently assess remand practices and physical production of the accused person through court watch and study of court documents for tracking compliance to the law. We support judicial reform by promoting domestic and international guarantees of fair trial rights and influencing accountability and transparency of courtroom processes. We identify both weaknesses and strengths of justice systems and generate recommendations for improved practices and overall compliance to the law and further seek to create progressive jurisprudence through strategic litigation.