DailyPost 2257

Timely administration of justice brings finality to a variety of ongoing issue and not only pending cases as we have been made to understand today. It can define the very legality of state power and the future trajectory of any area / issue, which is brought to its attention. But most of times we find even the higher judiciary embroiled in issues which doesn’t deserve their precious time. More than the checks and balances which finally means checks on everyone / an agency / organization or institution, what is important is to provide the basic wherewithal for its functioning as a matter of consensus.

Can decision making and the highest level of judiciary and executive not decide the blueprint of resources and how to fend for it? Notwithstanding the necessity of big-ticket infrastructure projects, dispensing with one of those, and putting the funds in judicial infrastructure might change its fate at least in a state, might even a few. Ironic as it may be, doubling the number of judges as a solution for pendency has reached the PIL stage. The solutions have to be called for now by the people. Whether it is accepted or rejected is a different story, the issue is a real-life story of the Indian masses. People are well within their rights to ask for it.

Can timelessness in judicial adjudication take us far? This is a trillion dollar question that needs to be answered before trillions to our GDP. In the recent hearing, the bench said, “Merely adding judges to the number of judges is not a panacea for pendency. We need good judges.” The CJI talked about the status of judicial infrastructure of Mumbai High Court. Does the country take the lack of judicial infrastructure as a truism of our existence and live with it, while none of the stakeholders are living in such uncertain and pitiable conditions? Seventy-five years of India’s independence has not been sufficient enough to provide even brick and mortar infrastructure to our judiciary. Other resources would be another story. Are we taxed for getting or not getting justice?

When it comes to elected representatives and powers that be, nothing comes in way? Where do we get good judges is question which the people would not be able to answer? All current judges are good is what we know. One side is the Collegium debate and on the other is delay in approval of the collegium approved names, on the other are the mounting vacancies. The pendency and vacancies are glaring at us; pendency at SC – 69,781, HCs – 59.6 lakhs and district courts – 4.3 crores and vacancies being SC – 7 (34), HCs – 336 (1108) and district courts – 6,604 (24, 827). We have still not talking about tech enabled means of dispensing justice, legally mandated business process engineering, complete overhaul of the IT infra, training of judges in it and tech workforce proficient in judicial nature of work at their command. Are we in a bind or have we reached a dead end and we have to live with it.

Sanjay Sahay

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