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Almost 90 percent of the judges in Gujarat’s subordinate judiciary support a fixed time limit for completion of each stage of a case, a survey by a law university says.

The subordinate judiciary in the state has more than 23.5 lakh pending cases due to lack of specialized wings and lack of case management, said the survey conducted by the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) here.

The survey was conducted at various courts under the state government’s project ‘Swarnim Gujarat Project’ or speedy disposal of case backlogs.

As per the survey, the problem of backlogs in the state judiciary was due to lack of administrative management and lack of specialized wings to deal with cases.

Almost 89 percent of the judges interviewed supported a fixed time frame for each stage of a case in court.

The survey said that 71.43 percent of the judges interviewed were of the opinion that there was a need to have specialized wings in the subordinate judiciary for dealing with certain matters.

They said that experts should be appointed as heads of specialized courts who may decide the matter on the basis of their knowledge without involving too much in arguments and procedural hassles.

In its recently published research report, ‘Blueprint for reducing the backlog of cases in the subordinate courts of the state of Gujarat’, the GNLU recommended that the state judiciary should outsource the process of issuing of summons to a private agency which would still be under the control of judiciary.

According to GNLU Director Bimal Patel: ‘The judiciary should introduce new administrative posts such as court managers and research assistants. These positions should be filled up by persons with MBA/M.Com degrees along with the law degree.’

‘The numbers for such posts may vary from district to district but those occupying them would be responsible for research on recent judgments, general court administration and management which would include filing of cases, listing of cases and proper maintenance of records. This would ultimately reduce the burden and backlog of cases,’ he said.

The report also suggested that petty matters should be reported to a special section of the court which would have the power of imposing on the spot fine.

Patel said that the GNLU can provide trained manpower to the judiciary for help on the administrative side.


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