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

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”