June 8, 2024

Jury trials are not common in the Indian legal system, especially in civil cases. In criminal cases, jury trials were abolished in India in 1973 through an amendment to the Constitution, replacing them with judge-alone trials. However, certain states in India still use juries for specific types of cases, such as in Maharashtra for trials under the Maharashtra Village Panchayats Act, 1959. In these cases, a jury consists of ordinary citizens selected at random from the electoral roll, who listen to the evidence presented by both the prosecution and the defence and render a verdict based on the facts and applicable law. The judge presiding over the trial provides instructions to the jury on legal principles and procedures, but the jury’s decision is independent and based on their collective judgement. While jury trials are considered a hallmark of democratic legal systems, their use in India is limited, with concerns about practicality, effectiveness, and potential bias. However, the legal system continues to evolve, and there may be future developments regarding the use of juries in Indian courts.


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