There's need for speed, but legal system is not a factory
There are too many pending cases, particularly in the district of Mumbai. The number of magistrates is too few to cope with the workload.
The Bombay high court has recently ruled that “there is, therefore, the need to augment the judicial strength in the city of Mumbai… But the legal system is not a factory where production goes on continuously for 24 hours”.
A division bench of justice FI Rebello and justice Amjad Sayed said, “Even if additional posts of judges are sanctioned, other facilities and staff be recruited, there is acute shortage of buildings to house the additional courts and the staff.
“The high court, no doubt, does from time to time propose to the government the need for additional manpower, as also infrastructure. The budgetary provisions made by the state government for the last few years, do show an increase. But, it is not adequate to meet the floodgate of litigation…”
The judges made the observation while hearing a PIL filed by a Bandra-based engineer, Anil Gidwani. They went on to add, “The Maharashtra government has sanctioned evening courts. The high court has started the process of evening courts. Still there is need for more regular courts, as it may not be possible for the same judge to work Monday to Saturday, for long hours. This ultimately is bound to affect the quality of justice.
“Apart from that, if a judge is away from his family for longer hours, then it might affect family relationship. The legal system is not a factory where production goes on continuously for 24 hours.”
Gidwani had filed a PIL in 2009, saying that the judicial system needed to be reformed. After he wasted three years in litigation over an alleged illegal car parking, he moved the high court, asking it to intervene and check the administration of magistrate courts.
Gidwani had raised several grounds, to which the registry of the high court was directed to respond. The petitioner had queried whether a trial for an alleged parking violation should go on for 21 months. The registry replied that it was required that trials be completed at the earliest, having regard to the nature of petty offences, overall pendency of the old and other matters, etc.
The registry also stated that a policy decision has already beentaken regarding transfers of judicial officers every three years. However, there is an exception which allows principal district judge/principal judicial officer to assign/reassign cases to different judicial officers in the interest of justice.
The HC while disposing of the PIL directed Gidwani to file an application under the right to information Act to find out about the guidelines, rules and procedures laid down to deal with the process of lower judiciary.
Source : http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_there-s-need-for-speed-but-legal-system-is-not-a-factory_1388708