People will revolt against delay in justice: CJI

Last Updated: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 19:53

Bangalore: Chief Justice of India K G
Balakrishnan on Saturday warned that long periods of delay in
disposing of cases would lead people to "revolt" and the legal
system to crumble, as he made a strong pitch for doubling the
number of subordinate courts to 35,000.

"We cannot have a backlog for long periods of time...
people will revolt... system will crumble," Balakrishnan said
at a conference on "Alternative Dispute Resolution-
Conciliation and Mediation" here.

He expressed the view that though people have
confidence in the judiciary as they "feel they will get
justice today or tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, how long
they can wait?"

"We cannot have this much of delay at any cost. It
should be reduced," Justice Balakrishnan said.

The CJI blamed fewer number of courts and a
significant number of vacancies of Judges as the reasons
responsible for pendency of large number of cases.

The number of courts in the country is not adequate at
all, he argued. While there are posts of 16,000 judges in
subordinate courts, the vacancies number 2,000.

He said the number of subordinate courts should be
increased from the present 16,000 to at least 35,000. "Under
any circumstances, Indian judiciary cannot work forward unless
we have 35,000 subordinate courts in India".

"State Governments are not coming forward with
(establishing) large number of courts," Balakrishnan said and
regretted that there is no progress on the move to set up
4,000 village courts.

While India has developed in "all other areas", courts
are still taking "too much time" in disposing of cases.

He stressed the role of mediation and conciliation in
justice delivery system. In China, only 20 percent cases go
for trial while 80 percent is settled though mediation and
conciliation.

But in India, though statistics are not available, he
believes not more than five percent of cases go for
mediation. "We should encourage litigants (to go in) for
mediation," the CJI said.

He said litigation in India is "very inexpensive", and
that`s why people are not going in for mediation. Justice
Balakrishnan also had a dig at lawyers, citing their role in
delaying the cases.

CJI steers clear of Justice Dinakaran impeachment issue

Chief Justice of India Justice
K G Balakrishnan today sought to steer clear of the
controversy surrounding Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D
Dinakaran, against whom an impeachment move is gaining
momentum, saying he had nothing to do with it.

"I have nothing to do with that," Justice Balakrishnan
responded when reporters sought his reaction on the sidelines
of a conference on "Alternative Dispute Resolution -
Conciliation and Mediation" here.

Asked if he had "assigned" any work to Justice
Dinakaran even after the move on impeachment, he declined to
comment.

The move by BJP, Samajwadi Party and Left Front to get
impeached Justice Dinakaran, who is facing land-grabbing
allegations, gathered momentum this week with 50 Rajya Sabha
members reportedly backing it.

Justice Dinakaran was conspicuous by his absence at
the conference`s inaugural function, attended, among others,
by Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, Karnataka Governor H R
Bhardwaj and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.

Asked for his reaction to the controversy surrounding
Justice Dinakaran, whose elevation to the Supreme Court had
been stalled following the allegations, Moily said he would
not like to discuss appointments to higher judiciary in
public, adding, one has to maintain discipline and exercise
restraint while commenting on such matters.

Meanwhile, an angry Bhardwaj objected to the playing
of "Karnataka anthem" at the beginning of the conference and
directed it to be stopped, saying the national anthem should
be the first, which was adhered to.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 19:53

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