Cji’s Proactively Reformist Measures Should be Replicated Elsewhere!

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  • As you are aware, reams and reams have been written on the backlog of pending cases in various courts across India. That the litigation keeps dragging on for years is also well documented.  It is also true that the poor and ordinary citizens are made to run from pillar to post to make their cases heard whilst seeking relief/remedy.  Equally true is the strong belief prevalent in the Indian context that the high and mighty, read as powerful people, always tends to receive relief sooner than as compared to other lesser mortals.  No wonder, there are millions of undertrials languishing in jails hopelessly waiting to be heard.  Despite efforts from the judiciary, led by the Supreme Court, the ground reality continues to see very little change for common citizens.

PC: Shafeeq R. Muhajir

  • In a refreshing change, the incumbent Chief Justice of India UU Lalit has made an immediate impact on assuming the responsibilities. Knowing fully well that he has very less time at his disposal, 74 days to be precise, the Chief Justice has initiated a few pathbreaking initiatives to address the issue of pending cases.  Encouragingly, the case listing system devised by CJI UU Lalit seems to be effective, going by a sharp reduction in pendency.  As reported, in 13 days, SC disposed of 5,200 cases and admitted 1,135 fresh matters – 70,130 matters were pending as of September 1.  Mind you, there’s a long way to go but pendency would reduce if cases disposed of steadily outnumber new cases being logged.  Let’s look at how the system works.
  • Essentially, CJI’s new listing system attempts to expedite hearings in after-notice matters, which keep getting backlogged, by listing more of them on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons. Also, more fresh admission matters are being listed on Mondays and Fridays.  Indeed, while one two-judge bench confessed its inability to hear all the afternoon matters listed, another bench last week had critiqued a lawyer for seeking adjournment despite judges working longer hours preparing for cases since the new listing system began.  Further, promptly filling four vacancies in SC – by November, there will be seven vacancies if these four are not filled – can considerably reduce pressure on judges.  SC should also be choosier when admitting matters.

PC: Rahul Kumar

  • Look at how many PILs admitted by SC end up in unhelpful court interventions in policy, political, and socio-cultural issues. Moreover, SC’s urgency in whittling down pendency must also rub off on high courts where 59 lakh cases are pending.  Like SC, around 70% of HC pendency involves admission stage matters.  As such, similar reforms in listing must be pursued in HCs too.  The biggest litigants are central and state governments who must help in upgrading judicial infrastructure, promptly filling judicial vacancies, and weeding out frivolous litigation.  Not impossible at all but calls for perseverance and determination to press ahead.  An action plan to reduce pendency levels at the higher judiciary would be most welcome sooner than later.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.