File photo. Police detained snatching crime suspect. Chief Justice wants court to mete out harsher sentences to curb rising petty crime cases in the country.

File photo. Police detained snatching crime suspect. Chief Justice wants court to mete out harsher sentences to curb rising petty crime cases in the country.

Courts must mete out sufficiently deterrent sentences and quickly dispose cases involving street crimes in view of the current increase in the number of such offences.

Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi said there was a need to view street crime cases seriously, especially snatch thefts, due to the rising crime rate.

“Courts dealing with criminal matters need to take judicial notice of the increase in crime rate.

“The High Courts should not hesitate to call up cases for revision if they find that the sentence passed in any case is insufficient,” he said in his keynote address at the opening of the Second Annual Council of Judges Conference here yesterday.

Zaki said serious attention was already being given to the speedy disposal of cases that would allow judges to hear more cases, including amendments to the Criminal Proce-dure Code to allow for the digital recording of notes of evidence and the implementation of a tracking system at the KL High Court.

Managing judges were also being appointed to manage the diaries of the courts to enhance the efficient utilisation of judges’ time, he added.

Zaki said judges should adhere to a recent circular calling for them to be strict when allowing postponement in their cases as the public would often blame the courts for delays.

“The courts are also encouraged to fix hearing of a reasonable number of cases in a day so as to avoid un-necessary adjournment,” he said. — The Star