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Judicial Administration Reform

  • IASbaba
  • March 28, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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JUDICIARY

Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Judiciary 

Judicial Administration Reform

Context: Criticism on Supreme Court about delay in hearing of crucial cases due to its inefficient administrative functioning. 

Allegations on Supreme Court

  • Critical cases like those concerning personal liberty, law and order and Democratic functioning, are posted after long intervals 
  • The Government is being granted a luxury of time to respond. 
  • Example: Kashmir notification (Article 370), Citizenship Amendment Act, Electoral bonds

Impact of Judicial inaction on significant cases

  • Fait accompli can be created due to lack of judicial action in such cases where immediacy is pre-eminent.
  • Adds fuel to perception that judicial inaction is due to executive influence
  • Erodes public trust on apex court
  • Increases backlogs in Judiciary

What are the possible reasons causing this situation?

  • CJI has been given the onerous dual charge of heading both the administrative and judicial functions of the court.
  • Increasing number of cases has made handling both these tasks difficult
  • Some of the administrative functions carried out by CJI includes:
    • All service-related matters of the SC’s 2,500 employees
    • Issue office orders to streamline the registry 
    • Supervise measures for security and infrastructure
    • Chair committees
    • Interview candidates for the various courts, etc
  • Inadequate capabilities & training of Junior officers under CJI who handle these tasks

Possible Solution – CEO

  • A chief executive officer – an independent professional who is equipped with the day-to-day management of the Court and is not beholden to the judges in any way
  • CEO will be charged with the entire mission of running the Court, so that the judges can concentrate on adjudication of cases
  • It will reduce the burden on CJI which will lead to faster resolution of cases.

Challenges ahead

  • CEO needs to be given adequate operational autonomy to ensure efficiency in management of Court’s administrative functioning
  • He/she should be answerable to a committee of the Court, comprising judges and bar representatives

Conclusion

Resolution of significant cases in a time-bound manner is crucial for robust functioning of Democracy

Connecting the dots:

  • Judicial Vacancies in India – Its impact and challenges
  • Need for digitisation of Judicial process as a part of Judicial reform

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