Skip to main content

Increase court time, video record proceedings in order to address problem of judicial delays: Prashant Bhushan

By Our Representative
The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), led by well-known human rights advocate Prashant Bhushan, has demanded that the Supreme Court and High Courts in the country should “follow the example set by the Allahabad and Madhya Pradesh High Courts, do away with vacations.”
Insisting that they should also “increase court time”, Bhushan in a statement said, “This will also help address the problems of judicial delays in this country.”
Even as “applauding” the decision of Chief Justice of India to appoint ad-hoc judges, “thereby drawing on a pool of available, competent judges, to tide over the judicial backlog”, the CJAR demanded that proceedings of all courts be video recorded.
Pointing out that this will “not only cut down on delays but will also have other salutary effects”, the statement said, “Other administrative reforms such as appointment of court managers, pre-trial conferences, using Information Communication Technology for notices, etc., also need to be institutionalised and these steps, if taken, will certainly lead to increasing the efficiency of court processes in the long term.”
“Compulsory video recording of proceedings of all courts is another step which will help ensure that judicial time is not wasted, besides having several other valuable benefits for litigants and justice dispensation and should also be implemented immediately”, he said.
Bhushan’s statement follows Allahabad High Court judges’ recent decision to cut short their summer break, to conduct special hearings to clear long pending criminal matters and thereby address the staggering backlog of cases.
The Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, simultaneously, wrote a letter appealing to the members of the Bar, to follow course and cut short vacation time, as well as work on Saturdays.
“These are positive voluntary steps which need to be institutionalised and implemented for all courts in India. There have also been welcome news reports of retired judges being reappointed on an ad-hoc basis to tide over the current shortfall in the number of judges”, said Bhushan.
“The problem of judicial delays has recently gained public attention in light of the impassioned appeal by the Chief Justice of India to the Government, at the Joint Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices on 24 April 2016, to increase the strength of judges and clear all pending files relating to judicial appointments”, Bhushan noted.
He added, “The Chief Justice of India appealed to all relevant stakeholders in the judicial system to work together towards making the system more efficient. He also implored all duty holders to consider cutting down on vacation time and use the additional time to clear long pending cases.”
“These appeals”, Bhushan said, “Need to be viewed in the context of a situation in which millions of under trials languish in jails across the country and lakhs of civil litigants are waiting endlessly for justice.”
“Closing down the courts for extended periods of time during the long summer months is a vestige of colonial India. There is no justification in a modern democracy to retain the colonial practice of long vacations for courts. Judicial officers should get service benefits, including leave and vacation benefits, similar to what other public service officials of comparable seniority get”, he said.

Comments

TRENDING

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Dr├Ęze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Kashmir kayoed, bhakts 'jubilant': Much like crowds when Hitler purged Jews, Catholics

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
August 12, 2019 was the great festival of Eid al-Adha (incidentally, for Jews, Christians and Muslims – the sacrifice of Abraham is a very significant one); for the people of Kashmir however, this year Eid was a sad day indeed, what with the lockdown and communications blockade!

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Modi's Kashmir move meant to 'solidify' Hindu majoritarianism, 'demonize' Muslims

By Battini Rao*
The parliament of India on August 6 put its stamp of approval on bills abrogating article 370 and downgrading the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to two union territories. When the representatives of the people of India were deciding the fate of the state, the people of J&K were forced into collective house arrests.