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.
- 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
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