An Overloaded Judiciary
Prime Minister rendra Modi is understandably concerned about the need to bring down the backlog of cases pending before the judiciary. On Monday, apart from stressing the urgency of this task, the Prime Minister also emphasized the need to rope in the best of talents while drafting Indian laws. He said this could be the biggest service to the country’s judiciary. rendra Modi also seems to be one of the very few prime ministers of India to have acknowledged the fact that the Central government is the biggest litigant in the country. He has done well to ask his government not to enter into unnecessary litigation. This is a step that should have been taken several decades ago because heads of government departments are only too quick to opt for legal action since it is the government that pays for such action. What most egoistic heads of departments fail to realize is that apart from what has to be paid to lawyers for legal services there is the huge cost resulting from the iction in government departments resulting from their involvement in gratuitous litigation. “We need to offload the judiciary’s burden. We have to make strong laws. It is the responsibility of the elected government,” the Prime Minister said at the 50th anniversary function of the Delhi High Court on Monday. But there is also the responsibility of cutting out the law’s delay in India. One of the best ways of discharging this responsibility is to ensure that the hundreds of vacancies of judges of the high courts that have existed for years is taken care of immediately. One can understand that there is some dissatisfaction about the very procedure of selecting judges for the high courts and the Supreme Court. However, until a selection device that is satisfactory to all concerned can be put in place, it is imperative that the existing procedure for the selection of judges is implemented purposefully so that the disposal of cases in the courts of India is not affected. An entire floor of the High Court building in Bangalore has remained locked up for years due to a shortage of judges. One shudders to think of the day when the very delivery of justice can get locked up due to this shortage of judges.