New Delhi: Chief Justice of India-designate P. Sathasivam Thursday said that delay in disposal of cases and justice delivery system was a major issue and could only be addressed by increasing the judicial productivity both in terms of quality and quantity.
"Delays in disposal of cases and the delay in justice delivery system is under the public debate and it can be addressed by increasing judicial productivity both in qualitatively and quantatively," he said at a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association to bid farewell to outgoing Chief Justice Altamas Kabir.
Making it clear that he was going to push for increasing the judicial productivity, Justice Sathasivam said that he was to put breaks on the long unending arguments that go on in the courts and substitute them by written submissions.
He said that priority would be given to the cases of women, children and the matters where the accused is in jail. He said that cases which have been going on beyond five years would be entrusted to a court for disposal.
Reiterating his defence of the collegium system of appointment of judges in higher judiciary, Justice Sathasivam contested the government`s claim that its opinion did not count in the selection.
He said that there are several stages where the file goes to the government and it could express its opinion then.
Reminding the government that collegium system of appointment was the outcome of a nine-judge constitution bench, Justice Sathasivam said it can only be overturned by a still larger bench or by way of amendment to the constitution.
He dared the government to tell on how many occasions it had expressed its opinion on the individual being considered for selection as judges.
Chief Justice Kabir urged the media to speak to the people in higher judiciary it was writing about before they are printed. He said that such stories only lowers the prestige of the judiciary.
"Why not find out before putting it in print? Publishing news, do it in a responsible manner. You must find out what others have to say. (otherwise) It diminishes the image of judiciary," he said in advice to media.
On delivering justice, he said: "You must have your foot on ground firmly when dispensing justice."
Responding to SCBA chief M.N.Krishnamani`s plea that bright lawyers between the age group of 45 to 50 should be considered for appointment as high court judges, Chief Justice Kabir said: "It is not that we have not considered the Supreme Court bar members. We have been doing so only no finality has been reached in last two to three years."