CMs and CJs of HCs to discuss judicial reforms and pendency of cases

Judicial reforms to tackle over 2.6 crore cases pending in courts and ensure speedy trial would be among critical issues to be debated upon at a conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts beginning here tomorrow.

The three-day conference, to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, is likely to discuss ways to lessen pendency in courts and development of infrastructure besides ensuring expeditious trial.

“A comprehensive agenda has been drawn up for the Conference. With 2.64 crore undecided cases in the subordinate courts and 42 lakh cases in the High Courts, expeditious disposal of cases is the key issue to be discussed.

“To address this issue, the agenda includes discussion on development of infrastructure, undertaking judicial reforms, ICT enablement of courts and specific steps required for reduction of arrears and ensuring speedy trial,” a release said.

While Chief Justice of India H L Dattu would preside over the conference, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda would also address the gathering, it said.

The conference of the Chief Justices would discuss the issues such as “developing a National Vision and Mission Plan for the justice sector for 2015-20, salaries and emoluments of sitting and retired judges, promotion and service conditions of judicial officers in the subordinate judiciary and greater financial autonomy for the Indian judiciary.”

Strengthening of legal aid services, alternate dispute settlement mechanism, judicial academies and juvenile justice system would also come up for discussion, the release said.

The conference, which is being held periodically to address “pressing issues relating to the administration of justice”, was last held in April, 2013.

It further said the 14th Finance Commission has endorsed a number of activities aimed at improving the justice delivery system at an estimated cost of Rs 9,749 crore over the next five years.

The Conference is “expected to come up with definite outcomes in the form of resolutions for implementation by the judiciary and the Central & State governments,” it said.

2 thoughts on “CMs and CJs of HCs to discuss judicial reforms and pendency of cases

  1. Expeditious settellement of cases is sine qua non of a good judicial system. The initiative being taken now is only to be applauded.
    The State Bar Councils and the Bar Council of India may come out with some good workable suggestions. Some of my stray thoughts on the subject are as under:

    (a) in all disputes , whether Civil or Criminal , if paternity of a litigant is in issue , it should mandatorily be subjected to a DNA test. The Fundamental right of privacy et al should not be a hindrance. The litigants are grown up and in some cases the Parties may be Septuagenarian and even more. Rxpeditious justice takes over-riding precedence over any thing else. – FIAT JUSTICIA, RUAT CAELUM.

    (b) The advocates are an essential part of the judicial system, There was a report in the press some days ago that non LLBs were donning the black coat and performing the duties of the “Officers of the Court”. They have no interest other than fool the system and the parties. The fact that their performance could not be differentiated from other regular advocates is a feather in their caps.

    (c) The present judicial system is much too liberal with permitting adjournments. If an advocate asks for an adjournment for his own convenience, the Court may like to impose a fine on the defaulting advocate and not on his client. The advocates find it convenient to ask for adjournments in tandem with the result that the client gets a date/hearing sometimes after two or more than two years. Such a thing must stop. As a fist step the courts should give the next date of hearing within a span of three months at the maximum.

    (d) There was, in the past, some talk of reducing the vacations of the Judges and increasing the working hours by an hour or two. The affected Judges could be given adequate compensation for overtime work/cases disposed of.
    (e) The Retiring age of all Judges should be increased to SIXTY FIVE and in cases where the Judge is mentally and physically fit – the the retirement age could be stretched to even sixty eight. Maturity and deep experience would be valuable for the judiciary.

    (d) During cross examinations the Registrar Judge must be an active participant in the proceedings and may ask further questions from the witness to elicit facts and truths which may not be convenient to the advocates of both the parties.

    (e) There is an anecdote: Son of an advocates completes his LLB and has taken to legal practice. One day he comes home with flying colours and says to his Father, ” Father do you know what , the old property case which you had been for the past twenty years, I argued and have finished the case today. ”
    Father responded, ” You are an idiot and not at allnot fit for donning a black coat. Now that you have finished the case ,How the hell am I going to pay my house rent for the next ten years.”


    1. We do see at times some accused glorifying our judiciary and invariably averring that person`s absolute faith in the justice system. Such people usually are those who were found guilty and convicted by the trial court, the sessions court, the high court and it is the apex court that gave the final decision acquitting the accused facing serious and heinous charges. Even in such instances, nothing at all is said about the innocent people who suffered loss of their dear ones, or other such losses and damages. A crime/offence has definitely been committed but punishment for that offence has not been given by the judiciary, for any of a wide range of reasons which cannot be challenged for fear of contempt of court. This clearly exposes the role played by the defence lawyers in getting adjournments, fudging the issue, misleading the judge into wasting time in unnecessary issues and ultimately seeing that the heinous crime fades out from public memory and sensation. Of course, the defence lawyers did prosper. So, talk of judicial reforms is bound to fail, so long as the judges themselves are charged with some basic ethical fervour and passion for justice although they did not personally undergo the suffering of the crime. They need also to know the law well, be capable of yielding to any pressures whatsoever from anybody and the Govt. takes full care of them. Judiciary is fully comprised of fallible human beings and a genuine oversight, mistake or a rare temptation/corruption need not challenge the institution as a whole. But, the unforgivable and unforgettable cases of huge corruption indulged in by judges themselves cannot be overlooked. As long as every single judge/law officer holds and follows high moral and ethical values, we can expect good, valid, just, fair and reasonable judgments from our judiciary. Communalising judiciary is the sin which can devastate and break this country, and no amount of conferences, seminars and scholarly speeches will be of any use whatsoever beyond being a elitist luxury for the nation to watch helplessly.

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