Latest book by Vivek Sood
Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India

Chaff And Grain:

Guilt, Innocence and the Dilemmas of Justice

Published by Bloomsbury
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Harish Salve

Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Democracy was sired by the tyrannies of monarchy. One of the vicious features of monarchy was the abuse of power of incarceration and death. From the Star Chamber under Charles I to the guillotine of the French Revolution, the dungeons with their chains have been used by despots over the centuries until the time that the human race set about to institutionalise human freedoms.

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Chaff And Grain:Guilt, Innocence and the Dilemmas of Justice

Advance Praise for the Book

‘Chaff and Grain is an outstanding book on the criminal justice system. It makes for an exceptionally interesting reading even for the layman, since the entire book is anecdotal and based on actual trials. The job of a judge to separate the chaff from the grain is a very complicated process, especially with poorly trained policemen and prosecutors, clumsy investigations, unintelligible charge sheets, hostile witnesses, poor infrastructure, heavy work load and more. This is where the analytical brilliance of Vivek Sood comes up to offer some first-rate solutions. I hope that all those involved in the implementation of the criminal justice system will read this book.’


Former Union Minister
‘Chaff and Grain has more grain in it than chaff. Excluding quasi-judicial forums, almost 50 million cases are pending in Indian courts. That doesn’t make the justice delivery system credible. It is neither a deterrent against mala fide action (the grain) nor does it provide sufficient protection for bona fide action (the chaff). The purpose of law, as argued in our ancient texts, is to protect the virtuous and punish the wicked. The backlog of pending cases varies depending on the type of court. Roughly, two-thirds of all pending cases are criminal cases, with the majority concentrated in lower courts. As we move further up the court hierarchy, the concentration shifts to civil cases.


Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister