Before making a law, assess extra burden on courts: Moily

It takes 15 years on an average to finally decide a court case in India.

New Delhi: With crores of cases pending in courts across the country, the Law Ministry has suggested that Parliament should make fresh laws only after assessing the extra burden they are likely to impose on the courts and ensuring the provision of money required for the purpose.

"Assessment must be made for the purpose of estimating the extra load any new bill or legislation may add to the burden of courts and expenditure required for the purpose,"
Law Minister M Veerappa Moily has said in a letter to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Nearly three crore cases are pending in courts (lower courts and higher judiciary) across the country, and the backlog is on a steady increase.

According to government estimates based on 2009 figures, it takes 15 years on an average to finally decide a court case in India.

Moily`s letter, based on the recommendations of the task force on Judicial Impact Assessment, says the government can anticipate the likely cost of implementing a legislation through the courts by a judicial impact assessment.

The task force, which based its findings on the research work by former Law Secretary TK Viswanathan, who is now Advisor in the Law Ministry, had recommended that it should be made mandatory to provide an estimate of the burden likely to be imposed on courts by every bill passed by Parliament or state legislatures.

In a similar letter recently, Moily had stressed the need for immediate setting up of special courts to deal with "surmounting" cases under Section 138 of the Negotiable
Instruments Act.

In that letter, also addressed to the finance minister, Moily had said that there are about 38 lakh cheque bouncing cases pending in the trial courts and this need to be speedily
addressed by setting up special courts.