Citizens’ Appeal :Ensuring
Expeditious And Timely Justice
To All
HUGE WEIGHT OF THE “PAST”
A Revamped Judicial Structure
B...
Indian Judicial System : A Glorious past
but a failure in providing timely justice
“Indian judiciary would take 320 years ...
Major
Areas of
Concern
Lack of Body
to check the
functioning
Meagre Judge
to Population
ratio
Lack of
Alternative
Dispute
...
Meagre Judge to Population Ratio
Issue
India has roughly 12 judges per million
population, as compared to America, or
any ...
Early Retirement Age Of Judges
Issue
When we adopted and gave to ourselves the Constitution in 1949,
the retirement age of...
The Alternative Dispute Resolution System in India
needs a push
The justice dispensing system in India has
come under a gr...
Changes should be made to the Vacation System
• Issue
The number of holidays and vacations enjoyed by our judicial staff m...
Changes should be made to the Vacation System
• Issue
The number of holidays and vacations enjoyed by our judicial staff m...
Constituting an independent body to check the functioning of courts
Members of
Body
Retd. Judges
and other
judicial office...
The Proposed Actions will require an estimated
INR 56cr of funding from the government
Organisational
Costs
• Establishmen...
Improving the condition of Fast Track Courts
Issues:
• No. of Courts- There have been only 1192 fast track
courts establis...
Other Possible Techniques
Through our intensive research we came across further solutions though minute in
nature they can...
•Our proposed steps to revamp the Judicial System
faces the following possible challenges
Conceptual Risks
• Government an...
References
• Delay in Process, Denial of Justice: The Jurisprudence and Empirics
of Speedy Trials in Comparative Perspecti...
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Revampers

  1. 1. Citizens’ Appeal :Ensuring Expeditious And Timely Justice To All HUGE WEIGHT OF THE “PAST” A Revamped Judicial Structure Backed By A Plethora Of Resources Team Details :  Yagya Srivastava(Team Coordinator) Ravi Gangal Samprathi Gowda Shreya Jasoria Tanu Shrivastava
  2. 2. Indian Judicial System : A Glorious past but a failure in providing timely justice “Indian judiciary would take 320 years to clear the backlog of 31.28 million cases pending in various courts including High courts in the country” – Justice V.V.Rao Food For Thought- • According to Supreme Court newsletters, there are 58,519 cases pending in the supreme court, out of which 37,385 are pending for more than a year, at the end of 2011. Excluding connected cases, there are still 33892 pending cases . • As per the Ministry of Law and Justice there are 43.2 lac cases pending in the High Courts and 2.69 crore cases pending in the district courts. • The cry for speedy justice is going to be shriller in the next three decades as a conservative judicial estimate predicts that case pendency is going to register a five-fold increase to touch 15 crore but the judge strength will go up only four times to settle at 75,000. • The courts in India function only for 210 days in a year making it one of the least working courts in the world hereby adding to the massive backlog.
  3. 3. Major Areas of Concern Lack of Body to check the functioning Meagre Judge to Population ratio Lack of Alternative Dispute resolution System Early Retirement age of Judges Faulty Vacation system Fast track court system “I don’t believe in taking one big step that causes a change , I believe in taking many steps that cause a big change” - Chanda D. Kochchar Snapshot to solution proposed – Manpower Induction of more judges Increasing retirement age Implementation Revising the fast-track court system Giving Alternative Dispute Resolution System a push Machinery Constituting a body to check functioning Correcting the Vacation System
  4. 4. Meagre Judge to Population Ratio Issue India has roughly 12 judges per million population, as compared to America, or any other country which have an average of 50 or 55 judges per million . This implies that if you have one-fifth the number of judges, a case that would have taken one year will take five years. Because a judge has on his schedule every day five times the number of cases that he ought to have, the judges are adjourning four-fifths of all the cases and dealing only with one-fifth. More the number of judges more shall be the amount in which cases shall be Solutions According to our estimates a developing nation such as ours needs roughly 60 judges per million, which means India has to increase the number of judges five fold. 0 50 100 150 Number of Judges per million citizens “A litigant's right to speedy justice could be meaningful only if a minimum of 20,000 more judges' posts were created for the trial courts.” – Justice B.S.Chauhan
  5. 5. Early Retirement Age Of Judges Issue When we adopted and gave to ourselves the Constitution in 1949, the retirement age of Judges was fixed at 60 years for High Courts and 65 years for the Supreme Court. For the High Court Judges, 60 years was increased to 62 years in 1963. At that time the normal life expectancy was about 60 years. With the changes in social and financial set-up as well as medical facilities, the present normal life expectancy is about 70 years. Barring few exceptions, a person is fit and fine at the age of 62 or even 65 years. In our country, except for the judges, the retirement age in some quasi-judicial bodies has been increased. Sanctioned Working vacancies Supreme Court 31 28 3 High Courts 906 631 275 District Courts 16721 13730 2991 Solution . In the circumstances, the constitutional provisions need a change for enhancing the age of retirement of High Court and Supreme Court Judges at least by five years. Corroborative reasons:- •With a larger tenure, judges may acquire more maturity, learning and experience so necessary for a judge. •One judge would be able to dispose off a larger no. of cases. •This move would prevent the High Court judges from vacating their seats in the High Courts and running to the Supreme Court to enjoy 3 more years employment. The countries which have robust judicial system have either opted for an average retirement age of 70 or absolutely no retirement age at all for their judges. Countries Retirement age (supreme Court judges) Australia 70 Canada 75 Ireland 70 United Kingdom 75 U.S.A. NO LIMIT!
  6. 6. The Alternative Dispute Resolution System in India needs a push The justice dispensing system in India has come under a great stress for several reasons, chief of them being huge pendency of cases in courts underlining the need for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods. Today Law Courts in India are facing the problems of Inadequacy of courts and judges, Increase in the number of cases due to multifarious acts enacted by Central & State Governments, high costs in prosecuting or defending a case in a court of law & delay in disposal of cases has created scope for an alternative. The ADRS in India is less known of to the masses as an option of getting justice. Arbitration Centres would play an important role in reducing the burden of courts by solving pending cases and these centres would give judgement within 4-5 months. We propose that the government should release funds for the awareness of the ADRS. This shall lighten the burden and will be beneficial in the long run. An estimated 70,000 cases were resolved with the ADRS. Issue Solution Types of ADRS in India •Mediation •Arbitration •Lok Adalats •Conciliation “To reduce pendency of cases in courts ADR would work as a key tool. Towards this endeavour, the legal services authorities’ act 1987 should be amended from time to time to facilitate use of ADR methods” – Veerappa Moily
  7. 7. Changes should be made to the Vacation System • Issue The number of holidays and vacations enjoyed by our judicial staff make our judicial machinery one of the most underworked in the world. There are 22 declared holidays apart from weekends added to the one week holiday each for Dussera and Christmas but the summer vacation of roughly 35 days has no legal sanction. The concept of having a summer break was introduced by the English who could not bear the heat . This logic however should have fallen from grace considering the fact that now every judicial establishment is air-conditioned. This is a clear wastage of human resource. The Litigants are interested in early disposal of their cases. Vacations of courts cause a delay in speedy disposal of cases and is against the interest of the people. It violates article 14 and 21 of the Constitution. 230th Law Commission report suggested that the vacations in the higher judiciary must be curtailed by at least 10 to 15 days and the court working hours should be extended by at least half-an hour. The then law commission chairman A.R.Lakshmanan remarked, “ there is no provision in the High Court rules or the Constitution to close the courts for more than a month . The British practice was anti-people , anti-democratic and anti-judicial” • Solution Considering the huge backlog of cases pending in he courts certain immediate measures should be taken . We are not against the vacation of the judges , we are against the complete closure of the courts . Judges should be given a limited break not exceeding 2 weeks during the summers and that too in rounds so that the court is functioning throughout the year. Efficiency in management of human resource should on top of our priority list. Holidays excluding weekendsNumber of holidays of Indian Courts
  8. 8. Changes should be made to the Vacation System • Issue The number of holidays and vacations enjoyed by our judicial staff make our judicial machinery one of the most underworked in the world. There are 22 declared holidays apart from weekends added to the one week holiday each for Dussera and Christmas but the summer vacation of roughly 35 days has no legal sanction. The concept of having a summer break was introduced by the English who could not bear the heat . This logic however should have fallen from grace considering the fact that now every judicial establishment is air-conditioned. This is a clear wastage of human resource. The Litigants are interested in early disposal of their cases. Vacations of courts cause a delay in speedy disposal of cases and is against the interest of the people. It violates article 14 and 21 of the Constitution. 230th Law Commission report suggested that the vacations in the higher judiciary must be curtailed by at least 10 to 15 days and the court working hours should be extended by at least half-an hour. The then law commission chairman A.R.Lakshmanan remarked, “ there is no provision in the High Court rules or the Constitution to close the courts for more than a month . The British practice was anti-people , anti-democratic and anti-judicial” • Solution Considering the huge backlog of cases pending in he courts certain immediate measures should be taken . We are not against the vacation of the judges , we are against the complete closure of the courts . Judges should be given a limited break not exceeding 2 weeks during the summers and that too in rounds so that the court is functioning throughout the year. Efficiency in management of human resource should on top of our priority list. Holidays excluding weekendsNumber of holidays of Indian Courts
  9. 9. Constituting an independent body to check the functioning of courts Members of Body Retd. Judges and other judicial officers Non-Practicing Advocates Citizen Representatives Civilians Candidates for election Elections A body should be constituted which shall overlook the functions of the judiciary. This body shall be independent of the polity and the influence of any other government entity. Retired judges, non-practicing advocates and public figures who work for the betterment of the legal field shall form an electoral pool . After several rounds of debates and discussions on their ideologies few out of the lot shall be selected to finally stand for elections .Civilians shall be free to vote from the filtered candidates who shall form the body. Debates , Discussions and ideas Functions of the body •Checking the efficiency of the courts •Check the implementation of rules and regulations •Check for malpractices •Act as a forum for complaints against long pending cases. •Shall facilitate speedy trials by setting up guidelines. •Shall give special importance to cases of national interest. The body shall act in the same way as the Chief Vigilance Commission does in the case of bureaucracy i.e. check for corruption added to its primary function of checking efficiency.
  10. 10. The Proposed Actions will require an estimated INR 56cr of funding from the government Organisational Costs • Establishment of Independent Body [10cr] • Maintenance and election costs of Independent body[10cr] Implementation Costs • Promotion of Alternative Dispute Dispute Resolution System and conducting it more frequently. [2cr] Functioning Costs • Increasing the Number of judges and retirement age.[12cr] • Cost of running the courts in the vacation period.[12cr] Infrastructural costs •Establishment of more fast track courts[10cr] Establishment of an Independent Body and Establishment of more fast-track courts one time costs .Other cost estimates are to be borne by the state governments annually . The estimated costs are to be borne by the state and the central government equally .We also propose to raise an additional 100-120 crores as forwards from philanthropists and other NGOs who deal in the legal field.
  11. 11. Improving the condition of Fast Track Courts Issues: • No. of Courts- There have been only 1192 fast track courts established in the country till last year. Such a less number of availability of these courts proves to be a hindrance in ensuring expeditious justice to the people • Financial Assistance- The lack of funds is another major problem being faced by these courts. They have been decreasing their establishment and as a result the strengthening of these courts has been a problem in the contemporary times. • Awareness- The common man is of the view that by going to these courts he would not ensure proper justice and there would be no remedy provided to him, because the cases would be settled in very less time span. • Less viable- The fast track courts lack the very factor of viability. They have not been efficient enough to serve as a panacea to the people striving for justice. Solutions: Fast Track Courts have been established for the purpose of providing timely and expeditious justice. Thus, according to our estimation there number should increase and the government should implement the suggestions provided by the Law Commission reports from time to time. The Financial resources provided for the establishment of these courts should be used efficiently. The preconceived notion of the common man that by going in for fast track courts he would not get justice in true sense because of the hastiness should be done away with. The government should therefore release funds to raise awareness about the beneficial functions of the fast track courts. Year Grant released 2005-06 Rs.100.00 crore 2006-07 Rs.100.00 crore 2007-08 Rs. 57.2 crore 2008-09 Rs. 54.56 crore 2009-10 Rs. 56.13 crore 2010-11 Rs. 73.16 crore State FTC Top 5 Bihar 179 U.P 153 West Bengal 109 Andhra Pradesh 108 Bottom 5 Manipur 2 Nagaland 2 Meghalaya 3 Mizoram 3 Tripura 3
  12. 12. Other Possible Techniques Through our intensive research we came across further solutions though minute in nature they can still play an important role in deciding the time taken by the court for the judgment- [1] There must be full utilization of the court working hours. The judges must be punctual and lawyers must not be asking for adjournments, unless it is absolutely necessary. [2] Many cases are filed on similar points and one judgment can decide a large number of cases. Such cases should be clubbed with the help of technology and used to dispose other such cases on a priority basis; this will substantially reduce the arrears. [3] Judges must deliver judgments within a reasonable time and in that matter, the guidelines given by the apex court in the case of Anil Rai v. State of Bihar, (2001) 7 SCC 318 must be scrupulously observed, both in civil and criminal cases. [4] Lawyers must curtail prolix and repetitive arguments and Should supplement it by written notes. The length of the oral argument in any case should not exceed one hour and thirty minutes, unless the case involves complicated questions of law or interpretation of Constitution. [7] Judgments must be clear and decisive and free from ambiguity, and should not generate further litigation. “Our principle is simply this – Uniformity when you can have it, Diversity when you must have it, In all cases, Certainty” – Lord Macaulay Here not only the future policies but the backlog of the past is also to be taken care of and we estimate that if the provided steps are worked out in an efficient manner then the pendency in the courts shall reduce by an estimated 3-5% a year.
  13. 13. •Our proposed steps to revamp the Judicial System faces the following possible challenges Conceptual Risks • Government and the Judicial administration do not see the imminent need to take the proposed steps or release funds. • The litigants do not feel the need of speedy and expeditious justice. • Minimal or no interest taken by the political class who play a vital role in the initial stages. Implementation Challenges Difficulty in taking on board the new and much larger workforce. The management of the judges and their upkeep shall pose as a challenge. Efficiency plays a key role in the proposed steps which lacks in the present form of judiciary it will be difficult to bring forth a complete mind revolution. Mitigation Factors- •Funding from other sources Such as donations from Philanthropists or NGOs . • Spreading awareness of the imminent threat and future circumstances if not acted now. •Campaigns and spreading of awareness . Trying to make it a public demand. Mitigation Factors- •Hiring experienced management staff. •Urging the political class to take necessary steps. •Maintaining an Independent body to keep a check on efficiency.
  14. 14. References • Delay in Process, Denial of Justice: The Jurisprudence and Empirics of Speedy Trials in Comparative Perspective • Law Commission of India Report 221 ( Need for Speedy Justice- some suggestions) • Law Commission of India Report 79 • Speedy Justice is a right, says Supreme Court • Justice Quotes in brainy quotes • Judicial System of US, UK, France, Germany & Australia • www.loksatta.org • www.telegraphindia.com • The Hindu article- when India had 1500 fast track courts • Department of Justice( Ministry of Law & Justice) • 230th Law Commission Report
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