Guarantee of justice missing in pending cases: SC judge Lodha
Anantnag: Admitting that the judicial process has become time consuming, senior Supreme Court Judge Justice RM Lodha has said the constitutional guarantee of justice is "missing" in some cases which are pending in courts for a long time.
"Yes you are absolutely right. I admit that the judicial process can be slow at times and hundreds of cases are lying in the courts since last 20 years," Lodha said after inaugurating the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre at the District Court here yesterday.
"There are cases which are pending in courts for the last more than 20-25 years. The guarantee of justice under the constitution seems to be missing in such cases because they are taking a lot of time. We are making lot of efforts but it will take some time before we are able to execute such cases," he said.
Reacting to a question about the Transparency International report on corruption within the judiciary, Lodha said, "Every institution is manned by individuals and if they are not of very good morality, these things happen."
ADR centres will help shorten the time required for the resolution of disputes among the litigants, the apex court judge said, adding that the judges who are not comfortable with ADR centres need to understand that the centres do not undermine their authority in any way, but help in speedy justice.
"There are some judges who tend to think that their authority will be undermined. They need to change this mindset and need to understand that there are some cases that can be solved amicably with the assistance of a mediator instead of dragging them for years altogether in the courts," he said.
He said the ADR centres have become the lifeline of the Judiciary.
"A Court Complex without an ADR centre is like a hospital without the Out-Patient Department," Lodha said.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Justice MM Kumar said the ADR centre would serve as a torch-bearer for the expeditious disposal of those cases which otherwise take long time.
"Some times the normal legal course is cumbersome as it consumes not only energy but money and time also, so the ADR Centres will to a large extent sort out this problem," Kumar said.
He said the mediation cell will also provide relief to the poor people who cannot afford money for filing litigations and adopt a legal course to solve their cases.
The two-storied building housing the ADR centre has been equipped with all modern facilities and has been constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1.18 crore.
After the inauguration of the centre, twelve disputes were resolved on spot, out of which seven were related to motor accidents for which a compensation of Rs 32.64 lakh was disbursed and the remaining cases pertaining to CRPC were also settled.