Jan Jagran for Justice
Jan Jagran
07/27/10 | Comments [7]
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Legal luminaries may dub the confrontation between legislative and judiciary as judicial activism but for commoners- judiciary is precisely inactive. Indian judiciary is just not infamously procrastinating but it also gets another dubious distinction of Andher when My Lords muddle with corruption and Bar shakes hand with law breakers.

Degeneration of the judiciary is a bit more painful because judiciary is the last recourse for common men to get its democratic and constitutional rights protected. Judiciary has bestowed with special powers to maintain order of law and protect constitutional values. These two are the basic tenets of any democratic system hence Judiciary is placed at a unique zenith among the other democratic organs.  

However, Justice is not merely a rhetorical constitutional right but it is a service too. Citizens of every democratic country deserve timely, transparent and effective justice at an affordable price. It is highly disheartening that Indian judiciary is constantly losing its credibility on theses merits. Anarchy and lawlessness is on the rise and decaying judicial system is forced to take onus of it. A comprehensive judicial reform is an emergency and probably the only solution to restore the confidence of citizens in the order of law.

It is just not the case of improving dispute resolution and justice delivery mechanism but a transparent and candid Judiciary is also must for enforcing reforms in to the other organs of the democracy. Reforms in judiciary are somewhat easy because of its compact size and limited number of stakeholders.  Government as law maker, Bench as administrator of justice and Bar as group of legal professionals are key stake holders in the system. The judicial reform process must encompass every stakeholder to get an early result.

Judicial Reforms: Key Dimensions

Judicial reforms are an elaborate subject and have several conceptual, procedural and legislative connotations.  The debate on these reforms can range from emblematic subject of judicial activism to the very basic issue related to delivery of the service of Justice. It would be better for us to keep core issues at the center of debate to empathize common person with the need of reforms.

We can find four dimensions of judicial reforms with this perspective.

1. Timely Justice or problem of pendency.

2. Fair Justice or problem of transparency

3. Efficient justice or problem of archaic laws

4. Affordable justice or problem of cost and price

Timely Justice or problem of pending cases.

Indian Judiciary is notoriously sluggish in disposal of cases. There were 30 million cases pending in different courts until 30 June 2009. (Law minister''''s statements). Pending cases has become a perennial problem of Indian judicial system. Delays in disposal make the whole justice virtually futile for a victim. The disease of delay is equally spread from the level of apex court lower courts. There were 52592 cases pending at Supreme Court. High Courts have 3955224 cases while Lower Courts 26752193 pending as on 31 March 2009 as per SC’s report.

Problem of pending cases has several facets ranging from shortage of resources and work force to the inefficient system of adjournments. Supreme Court has issued several guidelines and special courts have been created to cut down pendency but things have not moved at ground level. Government is itself a big litigator. It is preparing National litigation policy to bring down departmental cases with the increasing emphasis on judicial reforms. Law commission’s has given several valuable suggestions in its 230th report on Reforms in the Judiciary. Report submitted to government in August 2009.

Justice on time : Issues for discussion among  the stakeholders ( on the basis of recommendations of SC Justice Ganguli and Law commission)

Unnecessary adjournments of cases 
Same nature cases should be clubbed with the use of technology and dispose these on  priority basis.
Judges must deliver judgments within reasonable time according to  the guidelines of Supreme courts.
Curtail vacations of higher courts form 10 to 15 days and increase
     working hour by at least half an hour.

Lawyers avoid repetitive arguments and should supplement it by written notes. Length of oral argument not exceed one hour and 30  minutes unless the case involves complicated questions of law or interpretation.
Judgments must be clear and decisive and dose not generate further litigation.
Lawyers must not resort to strike under any circumstances and must follow the decision of the constitution bench of SC.
Computerization of courts and records 

Fair Justice or problem of transparency

Corruption in Judiciary is an ultimate dent to its already tarnishing credibility. People look towards judiciary for a fair and transparent justice, as they are already victim of bias, discrimination and corruption.  It makes the process of justice worthless when we see that Bench and Bar both in the mess of corruption. Corruption in Judiciary is not new but it is more prevalent is recent days.

Corruption in Judiciary has a very interesting history. The startling facet of this corruption is that most of the cases have not proved or one can say not let to be proved.  The only judge removed in independent India is Justice Shiva Prasad of Allahabad HC by then Governor General of India C Rajagopalachari on April 22, 1949 accepting a report of the Federal Court. Mr. Justice Sinha was the only Judge impeached but a year before the constitution came into existence. Judges have been covered under the act of Criminal Contempt of Court since 1971 but not a single Judge is either Impeached or hauled-up for Contempt until 1991.

From the case of Chief Justice Madras High Court Mr. K. Veeraswami in 1979 to the latest case of Justice P D Dinakaran, Chief justice of Karnataka high court (under investigation of SC collegiums for the so called charge of land grabbing ) there is a host of cases of corruption in bench and bar is recent years. However, judiciary seems to be is some what protective and reluctant to deal its corruption with a firm hand.  (Please check annexure for more instances and reference.)

Article 124(4) of Indian Constitution provides for removal of High Court and Supreme Court Judges. But it is complex and has several riders. Nevertheless, It has been said now and with a lot of merit that sacking a government is easier in India than removing judges. 

The Article says: "A judge of Supreme Court shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the President passed after an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total number of membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the President in the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity." According to this Act, the impeachment of a judge can be done only by Parliament and impeachment can be initiated after a motion addressed to the President of India is signed by at least 100 members of the Lok sabha or 50 members of Rajya Sabha. 

There is no separate provision for removal of High Court judges and Article 217(1)(b) provides for this and says, "A judge may be removed from his office by the President in the manner provided in clause(4) of Article 124 for the removal of a judge of the Supreme Court."

Govt is preparing to bring Judges Accountability bill. The measures to curb corruption and misconduct are likely to be included in the bill.

Fair Justice : Issues for discussion among  the stakeholders

Appointment system for judges
Assets declaration
Constitutional remedy for misconduct
Inquiry of corruption cases   
Corruption in Bar

Efficient justice or problem of archaic laws

This is a quite comprehensive and complex dimension of judicial reforms, as it just not related only to the functioning of judicial system also to the effectiveness of legal remedies and judicial pronouncements. Judicial reforms require strong legislative foundation for administration of justice on one hand and delivery of justice on other. 

Government is supposed to play a double role in this context. It has to facilitate reforms in the judicial system and also insure an efficient delivery of justice through its machinery. A lot is required to be done with the laws related to the judicial machinery and the civil and criminal disputes. Old and archaic laws and provisions are one of the major hurdles on the way of speedy and fair justice. 

Recent initiatives of the judicial reforms have a strong legislative quotient in form of laws related to appointment of judges, creation on courts and changes in legal procedures. Government has to work on the reviewing and changing the old laws simultaneously to insure that a transparent and quick judicial system can get coherent and modern laws to pronounce justice.

Efficient justice: Issues for discussion among the stakeholders

Legal framework for Judicial reforms
Laws related to appointments in judiciary
Special laws to cut down pendency
Criminal and civil procedure acts  
Special courts for corporate disputes

 Affordable justice or problem of cost of judicial remedy

It is a bit less explored subject in terms of judicial reforms but becoming important increasingly in the wake of new kind of disputes specially the financial and economic matters. Reduction in the pendency of cases and quick disposal can reduce the cost of justice in a big way. Apart from it a host of issues related to the court fees, cost of documentation, computerization of records, documents in electronic formats, and standardization of fees of legal consultancy etc can be put for the debate and discussion for stakeholders.





Regarding Jan Jagran
Posted By:-KRISHAN ARORA Aug 11, 2010
Dear Sir I really appreciate your effort for jan jagran for justice.This is very good step by Dainik jagran Group. Myself worked as broadcast engineer in Doordarshan for about 17 years & now i am running my TV program production house in Jalandhar. I am eager to be apart of this jan jagran abhiyan. General public didn't got justice. No one to take care of public in courts. sometime judge is on leave & some time public prosecutor is not available. simple cases take years of years for justice.My good wishes are always with U for the success of your effort. With best Compliments From Krishan Arora 9815105700
Regarding Jan Jagran
Posted By:-KRISHAN CHAND ARORA Aug 11, 2010
Sir Jan Jagran is very good effort from dainik Jagran Group. I really appreciate this effort. I also eager to be a part of this effort. I have worked as broadcast engineer with doordarshan for about 17 years & now running my tv programme production house in Jalandhar.General public is suffering from the judicial system of INDIA. No one bother in courts for inconvience to public. I pray God make this effort sucessfull.MY good wishes are always with U. With Best Compliments From BITTU ARORA mob : 09815105700
justice for physically handicapped
Posted By:-anil kumar gupta Aug 05, 2010
dear all, i would like to draw your kind attention towards the injustice, as all of you know that the differently challenged persons have worst position in india because they are not suppose to be a vote bank, first of all the facility provided by GOI not easily available to them, on the other hand reservation provided to them is not implemented,ie. reservation was started for PWD(person with disability)in the year 1984, but it is still not implemented after the 25 year has been elapsed, so many writ pettition filed in the court, but no use , it is still pending, even courts are failed to get it implemented, so where is justice
Posted By:-ADVOCATE Jul 31, 2010
It can be seen easily in our constitutional system of judicial mechanery,like a politician,who always prefers to his own son,daughter,brother,as his political successor. similarly, anxiety and frustated unrest lies in our youth of BAR also, because more intelligent and tallanted advocates are pushed back by the new comer advocates who are family members of sitting high court judges of the same bench of same high court, meaning there by once an advocate is elivated as high court judge and takes oath, he mostly used to sit in the same bench of high court where he has worked as an advocate since so many years and after his elivation his son, daughter,sister,brother comes into the professional existence and began to practice in the same high court. This is the biggest example of dishonesty,and we are bound to not to open our mouth. On 19th January, 2010; V.R. Krishnayyar, the former Senior Judge in Supreme Court Of India, urged to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, that, “the judges, who have bad images, must not entertain in to Chief Justice post of the apex court”. Krishnayyar also said that, “the common men have still faith in the court and that is why they must not be stay under the shadow of suspicion.The criteria to select chief Justice must be their patriotism and social responsibility.” Krishnayyar demands that, “the PM must collect their background information of judges.”
Legal Reforms.... How Far.......
Posted By:-Mukesh Kumar Jul 29, 2010
As all know that there is every one who is just commenting upon the system but no one is bothering to take steps in further.they Just can Comment on it. What will be the result.......Zero. Justice Delayed is justice Denied. Not Only judiciary is responsible for the Delay there are other factors also. advocates do not want that there be an end to litigation and for furthance of this they are engaged in different types of mal practices. if we talk to them about arbitration , mediationatc they should encourage the common man but as they know this is not in their favour they never advise a client to go for it rather they call them to litigate that is also the amin reason than why every one is now blaiming only judiciary....
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