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I have earlier written articles on the needed reforms in Indian Judicial System. I have also commented on establishment of village courts and am of the opinion that it will take atleast 10 to 20 years from today to correct our Judicial System meeting the requirements of the people and that to if we plan well. I will not change my statement and opinion and I do feel that judiciary reforms meeting the requirements of the people is a complicated exercise and it will be complicated particularly in India.
Dr.Manmohan Singh government has mooted two things recently viz., establishment of village courts and judges accountability. I have earlier opined that the establishment of village courts may not deliver goods unless we address other issues like lack of standards in the profession etc.
I want to express my opinion on establishment of village courts and also the judges’ accountability issue.
My opinion on establishment of Village Courts:
     I have earlier written an article on establishment of village courts and was of the opinion that the establishment of village courts may not solve the problem unless we address other vital issues like lack of standards in profession etc., Though, we have a draft legislation, it is yet to be seen as to how the village courts are established and managed. Funding has been an issue and both the Central Government and the State Government will fund village courts. If we keep the funding issue apart and proceed with the assumption that the village courts are established throughout the country, then, there is an advantage with that. According to statistics, 2.5 crore cases are pending before the lower courts in the total 3 crore pending cases. The Government's argument is that the pending cases before the lower courts can be tried by the Village Courts and as such most of the cases can be disposed of within a time frame and justice can thus be speed-up. Yes, that is a good argument though other connected issues are to be addressed at. We don't have clarity on establishment of village courts yet excepting the media highlighting and the Central Government’s announcement. Certainly, if the village courts are established, managed well, funded well, then, certainly the pendency can be reduced. But, what I feel is that we need clarity on the issue still.
My opinion on Judges Accountability:
     Our Higher Judiciary, to some extent as I feel, was opposing to disclose their assets to the public on the ground that it may lead to vexatious litigation. But, finally, the Higher Judiciary has agreed to disclose their assets and even apex court has passed a resolution as everybody knows. We need to see as to how the resolution passed by the Supreme Court is implemented and as to how our High Courts will be implementing the theme. But, the apex court appears have been contesting the issue of bringing the CJI's office within the purview of Right to Information Act. What I feel is that the Government may not have any objection and should not have any objection in excluding the CJI's office from the purview of Right to Information Act. My opinion is on the presumption that the CJ, being the Highest Judicial Authority in the country, maintains dignity and we may not have to suspect CJ's integrity normally. Further, if the judges accountability is implemented in letter and spirit unlike the disclosures by the People's representatives pursuant to the amendments to RP Act, then, only clean and efficient will go to the level of CJ and I think it is logical. I have studied a statement that the Government is planning to introduce the Judges Accountability bill in the next winter session. What I feel is that the beginning is good in this direction and if everything is 'OK', then, the judges’ accountability move can be a big success in India guiding the world. I express my happiness on the steps mooted by our Higher Judiciary in the recent past and also the role played by some senior advocates/advocates of Supreme Court and Madras High Court.
Note: I have only expressed my views on the issue to the best of my knowledge and understanding and I request the readers to post their comments and opinions on the issue.
 

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