In its crusade for legal reforms, the ICJ and Haryana & U.T. Chandigarh Section & High Court Bar Association organized a discussion on ‘Enhancing the efficacy of Habeas Corpus’ in the Punjab & Haryana High Court.
Introducing the subject Mr. Vikas Chatrath, Advocate, Secretary ICJ said that writ of Habeas Corpus has been universally recognized as the greatest safeguard for personal liberty, which has proved its efficacy over the ages. Our Constitution confers on the High Court and the Supreme Court the power to issue them without waiting for any other remedy and on behalf of every person. And today, the moment, a writ of habeas corpus is filed, out goes the information to those who detain, and the poor detainee is shifted to a more secure location.
Speaking on the occasion S. Gurdarshan Singh Grewal, Sr. Advocate and former Advocate General of Punjab suggested three methods to restore the efficacy of a Habeas Corpus Petition;
1. It should be filed directly to the Judge rather than first going to the registry i.e. office of High Court.
2. The secrecy of the contents of Habeas Corpus Petition be maintained, by simple lack of care at maintaining secrecy at the time of filing, the purpose of the great writ is lost.
3. Disposal of Habeas Corpus Petition must be carried out in a time bound period.
Endorsing the views of Mr. Grewal, human rights activist and Advocate Mr. Rajwinder Singh Bains said that taking a Warrant Officer from High Court to distant places in Punjab & Haryana is time consuming & expensive affair, which is beyond the reach of a common man. To simplify the procedure Mr. Bains suggested that Court can easily take the help of present technology and on receipt of a Habeas Corpus Petition can immediately inform telegraphically or by fax to the nearest Magistrate to the place of detention so that s/he can put into action the rightful steps.
Mrs. Madhu P. Singh, Advocate & Secretary ICJ said that every case of Habeas Corpus must end with monetary compensation to the detainee and punishment to the guilty.
In the end, Mr. Harinder Singh Sidhu, former Dy. Advocate General Punjab & Secretary General, ICJ said that the ICJ will follow-up with Chief Justice to strengthen the sanctity of Habeas Corpus.
Other prominent participants were Ms. Gargi, Jt. Secy., High Court Bar Association and Ms. Anjali Kukar, Advocate.