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Question – Courts in India are believed to be fraught with long overdue cases, but the structure of the problem is something that we know very little about till now.What is the probable cause for such scenario? Suggest an outline of various measures to solve this problem. – 4 May
The famous philosopher John Rawls in his work ‘A Theory of Justice’ has observed that, ‘Justice is the first and foremost virtue of social institutions, that is, all social institutions can justify on the basis of justice’.The judicial system in India also has its own importance.If we explore the Indian judicial system, we find that, the number of pending litigations in the courts is increasing due to many reasons like shortage of judges, loopholes of the judicial system and poor infrastructure, while on the other hand the workload of judges and judicial staff is increasing.Delay in justice is called injustice, but this irony is increasingly being surrounded by the judicial system of the country. The number of pending cases in the country’s courts has reached about 3.5 crore.
Causes of problems
- There is a lack of judicial infrastructure in courts across the country. The court complex lacks basic facilities.
- In the Indian judicial system, no fixed period has been fixed for the resolution of any lawsuit, whereas in the US it is set for three years.
- The cases of the Central and State Governments are the highest among the Courts. This figure is about 70%. Limits should also be set for general and serious cases.
- Courts have a long holiday practice, which is a major reason for pending cases.
- Delay by advocates is a matter of concern in the context of judicial matters, due to which the cases are stuck for a long time.
- The judicial system lacks technology.
- Courts and related departments lack communication and coordination, causing unnecessary delays in cases.
Measures to reduce pending judicial work:
- In cases where the offenders have been in custody for more than two years, annual targets and action plans should be set for judicial officers for disposal of such old cases.
- A quarterly review of the performance of judicial officers must be done to curb malpractices such as compromising the quality of adjudication, hastily disposing of cases.
- Filling up of vacant posts quickly, improving the infrastructure of the courts and setting standards of judicial recruitment examinations, etc. are other measures to improve the quality of district judges.
- The irregularities experienced in the selection of judges need to be considered; In this context, the National District Judge Recruitment Examination submitted by the Supreme Court must be seriously considered.
- Enhanced measures such as restricting Hartals (strikes), curbing summer holidays and audio-visual recording of court proceedings with real-time monitoring will create transformative effects.
- “Case flow management” rules can be incorporated by examining recommendations made by committees set up by the Supreme Court, such as the Justice M. JagannathRao Committee.
- Encourage alternative dispute redressal mechanisms such as arbitration, mediation, conciliation, along with fast track courts.
- Separation of traffic related cases from general courts. To improve the quality of subordinate judges, at the level of recruitment as well as during training on the job.
In view of all the above, it is clear that the Indian judicial system needs reform at various levels. This reform should take place not only from outside the judiciary, but also within the judiciary, so that the autonomy of the judiciary does not become a hindrance in implementing any kind of innovation. Delay in dispensing justice in the judicial system is detracted from the principle of justice, so justice should not only be there but also visible.