The Big Picture – Vacancies and Pending cases in courts: What’s the solution?
Chief Justice of India of recently made an emotional appeal to look in to solution to address the heavy backlog of cases that are present in various courts. He made this appeal at a conference attended by eminent persons that includes PM, Chief ministers, and judges of various high courts. The article deals with various issues trying to analyse the problems associated with the present state of judiciary.
The issue of vacancies and pending cases are ingrained with not just one problem but many. They are:
Lack of judicial reforms.
Lack of political will to reform judiciary in the aftermath of NJAC.
Lack of proper management of judiciary by judicial officers.
Lack of coordination between political executive and judiciary in finding common solution.
Lack of consensus between executive and judiciary to find a common mechanism to appoint judges.
Coupled with all the above issues there are certain statistics that says the court cases have gone up by 42 percent in last two years and vacancies have come down to 44 percent. This is a serious backlog on part to judiciary in failing to address the vacancy issue. Also with such level in rise of cases, it leads to a situation where in the crime rate will increase and the conviction rate will come down leading to mob ruling and will lead to exploitation of weak and poor.
One of the surprising things is that in 60 percent of the pending cases government is the main litigant. Government needs to come with solutions so as to address issues related to appealing of cases which simply clogs the cases in higher judiciary and to expedite appointment process to fill the vacancies. The motto to give effective justice as per our rule of law cannot be solved unless and until all outstanding issues are addressed.
Judiciary cannot put the blame completely on the government because that itself is responsible for creation of part of the problem. There are judges who lag the cases like for years together and not for quick dispute resolution orientated, added to this the 4000 vacancies that are pending in the trial courts are largely because of the failure by judiciary to appoint the judges and also the confusion with respect to NJAC and memorandum of procedure has only delayed the process of appointment in various high courts.
In a country like India where “JUSTICE” is the core principle of our constitution we cannot afford to deny justice to the people by not addressing the problems with the judiciary. As the saying goes Justice delayed is Justice denied, government should stand by judiciary in helping to solve all the problems and find quick solution.