(i) SC judges determined not to declare assets.- Hindustand Times dated 12-1-2009
(ii) Comeback Trail. (an undertrial tribal released from jail after 54 years) - The Sunday Express dated 22-1-2006.
(iii) HC raps state over consumer courts. Over 17,000 Cases Are Pending In Various Courts, Some Since 1990. - Times of India dated 13-11-2008.
(iv) 351 appointed HC judges sans collegium nod. - Times of India dated 7-1-2008.
(v) Murder over Rs.5, case drags on for22 years. - Times of India dated 2-5-2007.
(vi) India's first night court in Gujarat. - Times of India dated 5-11-2006.
(vii) Court delays trigger lynchings. - Mumbai Mirror dated 27-9-2007.
THE JUDGES ON JUDICIARY Our justice delivery system is bursting at the seams and may collapse unless immediate remedial measures are adopted not only by the judiciary but also by the legislature and the executive.
People had lost faith in the other two wings of the State much earlier. Unfortunately, the faith of a common main in the judiciary is also being eroded.
Justice S.B.Sinha, Judge, Supreme Court of India.
Even as the judges have wrested the power, wthout constitutional justification, to appoint their brethren in the dubious guise of independence of the judiciary.
Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer, Former Supreme Court Judge
If we want to save the nation, the democracy with lofty ideals, the judiciary must be saved.
Justice R.C.Lahoti, Former Chief Justice of India.
Upto 20% of judges in India are corrupt, Justice Bharucha, former CJ!
(i) Govt needs to set up more courts: CJI - Times of India dated 12-11-2008.
(ii) Handfull of judges corrupt: CJI - Hindustan Times dated 5-2-2007.
(iii) CJI: 10,000 courts needed. - Times of India dated 7-2-2009.
(iv) 38 million cases pending in India.77,000 Judges Needed To Clear The Backlog, Says CJI K.G.Balakrishnan. - Times of India dated 22-12-2007.
(v) Delhi HC will take 466 yrs to clear backlog: CJ. - DNA dated 14-2-2009.
(vi) At 175 yrs, it's India's oldest case. Calcutta HC - Times of India dated 10-11-2008.
(vii) 300 years to clear court backlog. CJ Orissa - Times of India dated 17-11-2008.
(viii) Delhi HC has under 5 mins. for a hearing. - Times of India dated 16-2-2009.
THE PIL IN SUPREME COURT: Writ Petition (Civil) 122 of 2008 The campaign has received its first boost in April 2008 when the Supreme Court ordered to issue notice to the Union Government to file its affidavit in a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) on Judicial Reforms filed jointly by Janhit Manch, Common Cause, Lok Sevak Sangh and Shri Ravi Goenka, an activist C.A. from Jaipur. This petition is the outcome of about a year's research and hard work by advocate Prashant Bhushan and his team of juniors. Shri Shanti Bhushan, his father, one of the seniormost lawyers of the Surpeme Court and the former law minister of india, also worked on this PIL. Subsequently all states were made party Respondents. We covered following and several other issues in the said PIL.
(i) S.C. Order not implemented: – That this Court had directed an increase in judges strength from an inadequate 10.5 per 10 lakh population to 50 judges per 10 lakh population, by April 2007, in a phased manner (‘All India Judges’ Association’, Vs. Union of India (2002) 4SCC 247). No action.
(ii) Delay in filling up vacancies - this Court had directed that all existing vacancies in the subordinate courts at all levels should be filled up if possible by March 31, 2003 in all the States, however, even this direction is yet to be complied with. (‘All India Judges’ Association).
(iii) Lack of commensurate infrastructure - this Court had directed that in order to have additional Judges, not only the posts have to be created, but infrastructure required in the form of additional courtrooms, buildings, staff etc., would also have to be made available. (‘All India Judges’ Association). No action.
(iv) Lack of adequate importance given by the Government reflected in poor budgetary support - That during the 10thPlan (2002-2007), the allocation to the judiciary was Rs. 700 crores, which is .078 % of the total plan outlay of Rs. 8,93,183 crores. Such meager allocations are grossly inadequate to meet the requirements of the judiciary. While the expenditure on the judiciary by our country is so low, in Korea it is more than 0.20%, in Singapore it is 1.20%, in the U.K. it is 4.30% and in the U.S. it is 1.40%.
(v) THE PRAYERS:
(a) To implement the specific directions in the judgment in ‘All India Judges
Association’ (2002) 4 SCC 247:
(b) By increasing the strength of the judges from 10.5 per 10 lakh population to 50
judges per 10 lakh population in 5 years,
(c) By filling up all existing vacancies in the subordinate courts at all levels in all
the States in one year and By appointing as many ad hoc judges as may be
necessary to clear the backlog of cases;
(d) By putting in place / making available the required infrastructure in order to
accommodate all these judges.
JUDICIAL CORRUPTION The corruption in judiciary is less visible because of the lack of any system of accountability of the judiciary and because the media is unwilling to talk about it due to the fear of contempt.
One cannot even register an FIR against a judge taking bribes openly without the prior permission of the Chief Justice of India which is rarely been given.
GOVERNMENT : THE BIGGEST LITIGANT is common experience that a large number of cases with no merit are taken to the higher courts in appeal or revision by the government and this is done mechanically without proper scrutiny whenever the government suffers an adverse decision.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR), Adjudication, Mediation or Conciliation, Court Attached ADR System and Court Ordered Arbitration. The ADR should be widely used.
AD-HOC JUDGES are provisions in the Constitution for the appointment of ad-hoc judges / retired judges. (Articles 127, 128 for the Supreme Court, Article 224-A for the High Courts) which are not being used presently. The principle should be that there should be no vacancy in these Courts at any given point of time.
JUDICIAL COMMISSION courts have rejected the judges' inquiry bill. The Law Commission has suggested to setup a Judicial Commission but the judiciary opposes that too. The Commission would consist of persons from the judiciary, the executive and the legislature, and their recommendations with regard to appointment of judges made binding on the President.
The present mechanism for appointment of judges of higher courts has become very dilatory and ineffective. The Supreme Court's judgement arrogating to itself the complete power of appointmet of judges has made the remedy worse than the disease. It is absurd to assume that in a democratic society any organ of state should perpetuate itself without any degree of accountability to the people as the ultimate sovereigns. Nowhere in the democratic world have the executive and legislature been made so utterly impotent in matters relating to judicial appointments as in India.
Therefore the Judicial Commission should be empowered to appoint and try an errant judge and upon the recommendations of the Judicial Commission the President should be empowered to remove the judge held guilty of high crimes and misdemeanars.
CHECK ON JUDICIARY IN OTHER COUNTRIES:
All the 50 states of U.S. Have ratified commission on judicial performance. The President's nominee for appointment as a judge has to go through the scrutiny and interview by senate committee.
Spain, Sweden and Finland have ombudsman systems which receive complaints against judges and have power to give decisions after holding proper hearing.
Canada has Canadian Judicial Council in place since 1971.
Judiciary in U.K. is fast and accountable, therefore no such system is required.
FORUM CARRIED THE FLAME, LIGHTED BY JANHIT MANCH.
A delegate in our convention held in Mumbai in December, 2007 asked me:
Judges Association of India could not get the Supreme Court order implemented for enhancing the judges strength form 10.50 judges to 50 judges per million population. How are you going to do that?
I replied: “Judges wan't come out openly in streets to enforce the order in their favour. If all other persuasive efforts for innovating and overhauling the judiciary fail, we will resort to Gandian means such as satyagraha, fasts, disbedience, non co-operation, contempt of court and courting arrests”.
HUMBLE ACHIEVEMENT ON SAVE JUDICIARY-SAVE NATION MOVEMENT.
Just before last Parliamentary election in May 2009, we motivated about hundred citizens and NGOs to write separate letters to 33 political parties requesting them to make public commitment for judicial reforms in their respective manifestos. Seven of them did so including Congress and BJP. We personally met several of top leaders of parties for this purpose.
I met Rahul Gandhi at his Delhi residence on 16th Jan. 2009 and requested him to provide for judicial reforms in Congress Manifesto for ensuing Parliamentary elections, he immediately phoned to Shri Veerappa Moily, party's manifesto committee chairman and suggested to discuss the matter with me. Same afternoon I met Shri Moily at his residence with Kamalkant Jaswal and Promod Chawla, two Delhi activists and we discussed the issue at threadbare for 40 minutes. I handed over our Forum's brochure and other relevant material on the judicial reforms which he assured to go through carefully. Congress manifesto provided judicial reforms for pursual in right earnest.
Incidentally he became the Law Minister and again I met him on 27th June with five activists from Delhi and one from Chennai.
Shri Moily, himself a former Supreme Court Lawyer, Karnatak CM and the Chairman of the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission enthusiastically went on announcing his plans for judicial reforms after assuming the office of Law Minister in June 2009. The whole nation read them with interest.
See the titles of his statements published in newspapers on 24-9-2009:
(a) Moily wants Woman Judge in SC: DNA.
(b) Moily Mission: Cut Case Life to 1 Yr. Times of India.
(c) Moily wants govt. to cut filing of cases: Times of India.
(d) 4 Law Schools of excellence on cards: Times of India.
Law minister's above referred announcements relate to 9 out of 19 of Forum's aims and objects, numerically reproduced from its trust deed as under:
(v) A system of monitoring of judges’ assets, accountability and productivity to be evolved under special legislations.
(vi) To accelerate the wheels of judiciary so as to prevent social and political criminalization.
(viii) To introduce double shifts in courts, setting up more fast tract courts and strengthening the system of Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR).
(ix) To invoke Article 224 & 224-A of the Constitution for the appointments of the additional, acting and the retired judges at the sittings of the High Courts.
(x) To increase the women judges and the judges from the backward classes without compromising the quality.
(xi) Aiming at fivefold increase in the number of judges and the courts for bringing down crores of pending cases to zero backlog level.
(xiv) To amend, overhaul or repeal the decades and century old statutes commensurate with the time.
(xv) Imparting quality education in the institutions of laws with their ambitious expansions, commensurate with the increase of courts, staff and judges.
(xvi) Offering attractive remuneration and incentives for attracting best and non corrupt legal talents to the judiciary.
We humbly believe that we have partly influenced the Law Minister. We will meet Shri Moily again in January 2010 with different set of proposals and continue to meet him in future also.
Thousands of brochures on judicial reforms separately addressed to the citizens, lawyers, MPs and Judges are being daily posted from Forum's office. Seminars on the subjects are being constantly organised on the subject across the country. It is a national movement. We are in the process of setting up Societies on judicial reforms in major cities and towns.
There is no better time than now to join this national campaign.
Tags :Civil Law