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Friday, October 16, 2015

What is ailing in our judiciary system and why adjournments are frequent?


Fortyfive lakh cases are pending in 24 High courts. Appeals can take up 30 years to be heard. However it is said delay in hearing appeals is as good as justice denied. As at the end of June 2014 there are 45 lakhs cases pending in the nation’s 24 High courts an average of two lakhs cases per High court. In Rajasthan High court alone appeal in civil cases are pending for 28 years with only 25 of 40 judges post filled. Stars favored Shri Asthana when his civil suits came up much earlier for hearing defying the usual time lag.

Why this malady ? As at the end of June 2014 there were 265 vacancies for judges in the High courts as against the sanctioned strength of 906 a short fall of almost 30 %. Imagine the plight of a judge who is over loaded with too many cases with too little time to study, ponder and decide, often hopping from one bench to another some times on the same day and he has to pass the order under pressure which ultimately suffer from clarity giving rise to doubts in the minds of the contestents.One convenient way to reduce the pressure of work is perhaps to give adjournments as and when asked .

Why this pathetic situation which remains eternal much to the inconvenience and irritation of the litigants. Read what `Justice VN Khare, Former Chief Justice of India said:

No Government, be it central or State, is interested in giving priority to the judiciary. We have one of the world’s poorest Judge- to –population ratios. Deterioration in the law and order situation gives rise to new cases. In some High courts appeals are pending since 1985. No substantive hearing takes place ( Mark the word ‘ substantive hearing ‘ ) Only stays and interim orders are passed as we have seen earlier in our case. These are the reasons that contribute to delays.

Come 18 NOV with the existing scenario let us pray that there is no more adjournments though cleverly asked for on flimsy grounds and the curtain be down once for all and result of this ‘ Kurkshetra war ‘ is known. Let our defense as well as arguments be cogent, forceful and to the point as to convince the learned judges, keeping in mind they have to fight against the limited time available to them, not to digress in arrears which are irrelevant and we are sure and confident our leaned Counsels are well versed in this art.

R.K.VISWANATHAN