September 10, 2009

CLEARING THE 3 CRORE BACKLOG CASES BY 2012 IS FINE, BUT THEN IT SHOULD COME ALONG WITH OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS

TO STRENGTHEN THE WHOLE JUDICIAL SYSTEM!

As a media house, from the very beginning we have been extremely vocal about the Indian judiciary. For we strongly believe that a poor justice delivery has been the root cause of most of our problems. It goes without saying that India has a weak, or rather a limping justice delivery system, which makes sure that justice is denied in most cases; and even if delivered, does not hold any value, thanks to the time (read lifetime) it takes. In the given scenario, the decision of the Centre to clear all the pending cases in the Indian judicial system is indeed a bold and welcome move.

By its (the Centre’s) own admission, there is a staggering number of nearly three crore court cases pending at several stages in different courts of India. While in many cases, the petitions have been pending in most of the lower courts, on many other occasions, even after getting a favourable verdict, the common Indian has to again fight it out at a higher level court. And the saga goes on. Sometimes the defendant wins, while at other times the prosecution wins; and this unending trauma continues till the time the case finally (if at all) reaches the Supreme Court and final justice is delivered. Thanks to the years or decades that it takes to execute a case and take it to its culmination, the legal fraternity invariably ends up making a windfall profit. And thanks to the absence of a time bound justice delivery mechanism, making moolah is not at all a challenge for our legal fraternity, as they are quite adept at purposefully making cases hang on for years. The reason is simple. The more the cases lingering on, the better are the chances to squeeze money from the common man. Expediting a case fast would be akin to killing the golden goose!

That’s one side of the injustice. If one has to go by the announcement of the government, by 2012, all the pending cases would be cleared. Liquidating nearly three crore cases in just a matter of three years is going to be a daunting challenge, knowing how the machinery is made to work currently. One fear that would always remain is that in the quest for speeding up the justice delivery, India should not end up delivering injustice. And if that happens, then the chaos that it would create would be more dangerous than the issue of having to deal with three crore pending cases. Indeed, one has to take care of the fact that the rot, which has been purposefully created in the system since years, has to be eliminated in a time bound manner rather than in haste. Yet, even if the Centre ends up in making the impossible possible, there is no guarantee that the predicament of pending court cases would not start spreading again. The only way to solve this issue is by passing statutory laws in the Parliament that would guarantee and typically force the delivery of justice in a timely manner. In developed countries like the US, for petty cases, people filing cases in the morning get justice literally by the evening. Even if India doesn’t end up being so fast, still the concept of having a law that enforces that a case be solved within a stipulated time would be good enough.

Incidentally, the issue of quick delivery of justice is one thing, the fear of law quite another. In India, the prosecution is in most cases very weak, which reduces the chances of getting fair justice for the common man. So, unless several other issues – like witness protection, the freedom to have a prosecutor other than the designated public prosecutor, the corruption in the judicial system and similar such nuances – are taken care of, merely speeding up the delivery of justice would only go on to create a bigger monster rather than a panacea. Another important reform that the judicial system in India needs is that of opening up of the Indian legal service industry to foreign competition. If the Indian consumer can have access to world class technology and medicines, why can’t he have the right to have access to the best legal firms of the world? Such a move would invariably end up making the Indian legal fraternity far more professional than what it is now. Beyond this, it is a fact that judicial reform will have to go hand in hand with administrative reforms. For example, unless the police is given the right kind of legal power, manpower and time to investigate a case, prosecution would continue to end up being weak and succumbing to the pressures of the defence; speedy delivery of justice would surely then become a farce.

All in all, over the years, the judiciary has been engineered to be slow to create a convenient ground to criminalize every aspect of our democracy. As a result, justice delivery has been made so scarce and painful that a majority of citizens have lost faith in it. So the Centre would face two challenges. The first challenge would be to counter those criminals who would try their best to keep the machinery as slow and corrupt as possible. The second challenge for the Centre would be to restore the faith of the common Indian in the judiciary. It goes without saying that both of these have become national imperatives now! So though it has started late, the Centre should still chase this deadline without any compromises, along with making necessary reforms to strengthen the whole judicial system – it could well mark the dawn of a new judicial future...

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7 comments:

hanmi reddy said...

Our honourable judges need a millennium to clear the pending cases, as per a news item in the India Today.

See the brighter side of it. People are discouraged to approach the courts for silly cases.

Anirudh blog said...

It is clearly a black hole of democracy. When ruler is a King, commonman need not pay any price to get justice. There was an 'instant justice' and there were no written constitution, law, rules, regulation, licence-inspector-permit-quota raj and we became just a tax paying slave. The size of the govt. getting bigger and more and more taxes imposed. Most of the case the main litigant is commonman versus the state. The problem is systemic.

To correct the systemic problem, we need to abandon democracy and need alternative form of government where people are not burdened with taxes, govt. will not look its citizen jelously and apply divide and rule policies, govt. have a limited role in peoples private affairs.

It is the time for end of democracy so that justice is instantly delivered with no cost, hazzle free justice, no sleeping and excuse giving judiciary, buraucracy. We people of India feel that enough is enough. Now it is the time for action.

Engineer_4m_hyd said...

Four things which needs to be done immediately with high priority:

1. Appoint more judges
2. Strenghten law & order.
3. Make judges accountable.
4. Set deadlines for judges

Vinod C Dixit said...

To
The Editor
SUNDAY INDIAN
Letters to the Editor
feedback@thesundayindian.com

13.09.2009

Dear Editor,

Rahul Gandhi- Marching ahead

YOUR cover story ‘MISSION POSSIBLE” (TSI, September 14-20) made for nostalgic reading. It reveals the fact that young Indians who are more practical than their parents and value money over political ideology supports Rahul Gandhi wholeheartedly. One would like to believe that Jitin Prasad, Priya Dutt, Milind Deora, Sachin Pilot, Manish Tiwari, Jitendra Singh, Ravnit Singh & Kanishka Singh are all well-meaning young politicians who have won because collectively they presented the 'clean' image of themselves to the aam aadmi. Youths have an idealistic outlook but there were doubts among the youth over politics as if there is a wall but Rahul has demolished the “wall” that was preventing young people from joining the Congress. Rahul has got connected to these minds that are looking forward into the future. It is rightly said that Rahul Gandhi’s new congress is quietly taking shape as the youth power has the potential to bring fast change, the country needs it and it is our responsibility to use youth in our nation’s development. Time has now come when we would see our nation rising and leading the world not due to its leaders but on the shoulders of common people, poor and youths.

Vinod C. Dixit
B-15 Jyoti-Kalash Society
Jodhpur Tekra
S.M. Road
Ahmedabad – 380 015

Murali Krishna said...

Dear Arindam,

I would like to add two points to your article which, I feel the article missed.

1. Government itself is a biggest litigant. You can see that around 25% of cases are by Government alone. Good governance needs good decision making but not to leave things to be settled by courts. But executive is leaving things to courts to decide instead of taking decisions on their own. In a way this is escapism by the executive and abdication of their duty of taking decisions instead of leaving them to courts.

2. Investigating wing should be separated from prosecution wing. As of now for both prosecution and investigation, things overlap and they do not go hand in hand. A separate wing for investigation fully concentrate on investigation of the cases, whereas prosecution looks after efficiently prosecution.

I feel these are some of the core issues which should be looked into, so that increase in litigation can be effectively tackled.

Murali Krishna

paul said...

Sir, you are absolutely right, a strong Judiciary and an efficient police force can change the total functioning and system of this country – but, are we (Indians) really capable of turning things around in such a big way?

Nurav said...

To
Mr. Arindam Chaudhary
Planman Group

23 Sept, 2009

Subject - Dawn of a new political era

Dear Sir

Your take on our political status, seems highly appropriate & many like us seem more or less convinced that there are radical changes which are needed to be made.

Although there is not much I can say about the administrative approach but my issue is the support & the effort ordinary people like us show or even contribute in bring necessary reforms into practice. I can surely raise my voice & concern through blogging, articles & seminars, but there is still no substantial effort put through which will make drastic changes.

Here I propose to you Mr. Arindam Chaudhary & every reader on the blog the need to come out with a GEN-X PARTY or a political party based on the concepts of youth development to encourage participation from the youth & bring out young leaders, who have a great vision for a new look India, a young India.

The initiative or the political party is called YSS [Yuva Shakti Sangathan] or more specifically TROY [The Republic of Youth], is an attempt to fullfil the dream of a youth based political party & build a better future for ur country India.

The Key essential elements of YSS or TROY are to support GID [The Great Indian Dream] & support significant activities like NATS [National Anti-Terror Society & other societies which want to irradiate evils like poverty, illiteracy, corruption amongst others.

This initiative also aims at making India the super power it has the potential to become, by providing world class amenities, services & support to compete with the bast in the world. The projects initiated are Banjara, Metro Finances, Drive in Multiplexes, WATS, Incarnesia amongst others for every industry & sector.

I hope you join me in this effort to fulfill the Great Indian Dream. I would like a response from Mr. Arindam Chaudhary & every one, who support this initiative.

With Regards

Varun Saxena
9811928027
varun.saxena07@gmail.com

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