[Assam] More About Indian Justice--From Indian Justices
assamrs at gmail.com
Fri Feb 13 20:35:32 IST 2009
This is just down right appalling.
Some solutions may be:
Discard all cases (irrespective of their importance or influence) which have
been pending for over 5 years. Older than those have no chance of being
heard in any case. Start afresh - with new judges, and employees of all
India needs ten times the courts it has. I'm not sure if there are separate
civil & criminal courts - just know there are District, High, and Supreme
courts in India. Maybe there ought to be far more jurisdictional courts (no
In short... what a mess!
On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 8:20 AM, Chan Mahanta <cmahanta at charter.net> wrote:
> The following in US News papers today ( St. Louis Post Dispatch, Los
> Angeles Times, etc.)
> Indian court will take 466 years to clear its backlog, chief justice says
> in damning report
> NEW DELHI (AP) - The High Court in New Delhi is so behind in its work that
> it could take up to 466 years to clear the enormous backlog, the court's
> chief justice said in a damning report that illustrates the decrepitude of
> India's judicial system.
> The Delhi High Court races through each case in an average of 4 minutes and
> 55 seconds but still has tens of thousands of cases pending, including
> upward of 600 that are more than 20 years old, according to the report.
> The problems of the Delhi High Court, which hears civil, criminal, and
> constitutional cases, is more the standard than the exception in India. The
> country's creaky judicial system has long been plagued by corruption,
> inefficiency and lack of accountability, often making the rule of law
> unattainable for all but the wealthy and the well-connected.
> The United Nations Development Program says some 20 million legal cases are
> pending in India.
> "It's a completely collapsed system," said Prashant Bhushan, a well-known
> lawyer in New Delhi. "This country only lives under the illusion that there
> is a judicial system."
> One reason for the delays is that there aren't enough sitting judges. India
> - a country of 1.1 billion people - has approximately 11 judges for every
> million people compared with roughly 110 per million in the United States.
> India's Justice Ministry last year called for an increase of 50 judges per
> million people by 2013, but it was unclear how the government would pay for
> such a massive overhaul.
> The Delhi High Court, the state's top court, had 32 judges in 2007 and 2008
> instead of the allotted 48, according to the chief justice's annual report,
> released Tuesday.
> The court had at least 629 civil cases and 17 criminal cases pending that
> were more than 20 years old as of March 2008. Although, that's an
> improvement from April 2007 when the court had 882 civil and 428 criminal
> cases pending that were that old.
> Chief Justice A.P. Shah said in the report that "it would take the court
> approximately 466 years" to clear the pending 2,300 criminal appeals cases
> Critics say another major problem is corruption, a plague throughout every
> layer of Indian government.
> "Of course corruption is there," said J.S. Verma, a retired Supreme Court
> justice. "The people who man the courts and the court system come from the
> society" where corruption is commonplace.
> Last year, the Delhi High Court convicted two senior lawyers for trying to
> influence a key witness to change his testimony in a high-profile case
> involving a hit-and-run that left six people dead. The lawyers, who were
> busted in a sting by a television news channel, received what some called a
> light punishment: They were barred from appearing in court for four months
> and fined 2,000 rupees ($50).
> The corruption in the case was only notable because one of the lawyers had
> defended important political figures, said Bhushan
> "There are plenty of lawyers who are engaged in this business of bribing
> judges," he said. "It's a lucrative business."
> The hit-and-run case was another example of the long lag between crime and
> conviction: the accident occurred in 1999, but the driver was not found
> guilty until 2008.
> Critics say other problems include the strict formalities that slow down
> every step of the legal process and are common across India's vast
> Bhushan says the Herculean task of simply registering a case wastes time
> and denies ordinary citizens access to the court.
> "All kinds of objections are raised - the copies are dim, the margins are
> not wide enough, it's single-spaced instead of being double-spaced," he
> said. "For a layperson, it's impossible."
> Verma, the retired Supreme Court judge, said extending working hours would
> be a major step toward clearing the backlog.
> The Delhi High Court hears cases for five hours and 15 minutes a day, and
> is open for 213 working days a year, according to the report. Verma and
> others said the court could easily work longer hours.
> "A commitment and proper work culture can solve at least half the problems,
> if not more," Verma said. "I don't think you would have to wait four
> centuries to have a case decided."
> 124 years to clear all the pending cases in the Indian courts
> by Sanjay Jha | April 20, 2008 at 07:26 pm
> 490 views | 2 Recommendations | 3 comments
> Backlog of cases has become a big problem for the Indian judiciary - from
> the Supreme Court to the subordinate courts. At the current speed, the lower
> courts, may take 124 years for clearing 2,50,000 cases.
> In the last seven years, the disposal rate has increased by 48 per cent in
> the high courts and by 28 per cent in the subordinate courts, but the
> pendency has increased. Thus, it is the system (and not the judges) which is
> at fault. Unless the disposal rate improves, the backlog will keep mounting.
> To make rule of law a reality, the arrears will have to be reduced.
> Hopefully this move will help in faster judicial delivery
> The Chief Justices' Conference has recommended increasing in the working
> hours of high courts to clear the huge backlog of cases.
> At the end of the two-day conference, Chief Justice of India KG
> Balakrishnan said the working hours could be increased by 30 minutes each
> day or one more working day be added to the calendar. Most high courts work
> for 210 days in a year and it has been recommended to increase it up to 215
> or 220, he said. "Some... high courts are already working up to 220 days,"
> he added.
> Giving details of the decisions taken at the meet, the chief justice told a
> gathering of lawyers the conference has also recommended setting up 463
> family courts, one in each district, to deal with matrimonial cases. The
> conference has recommended setting up one CBI court in each state. There
> were about 13,000 cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act pending in
> various high courts out of which 6,100 were CBI cases, he added.
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