JUDICIAL TIME – ULTIMATE VALUE
Judicial time is the time spent by the judges in taking the case through the trial process. This would include the time spent for the backend work as well, till the time the judgement is delivered. Even with good support staff and very efficient judges there is only a finite amount of work that can be done in the available judicial time. Might be with process re-engineering, whatever little possible, can be brought down. That will not turn out to be substantial. The pace of justice delivery speaks volumes about the health and robustness of any democratic nation. Besides the checks and balances being provided by different pillars of democracy, timely justice and a predictability of time taken for the purpose, provides immense confidence to the masses or any litigant.
The legendary workload apart, do we value judicial time? This might give some clue to the answers we are looking for. The provision and usage of this time in the most efficient manner for the right types of cases, would bring a consequential result of providing finality in justice, where it is required the most. Being in the midst of the process of the layers of courts does not help. As it stands now, we are a litigant nation with no value for judicial time, and hence the process gets extended indefinitely, for many to come with the statement; that the trial / judicial process itself is a punishment. Our most renowned litigant is the government, the finality a government should provide does not play in their mind, the running thought process is, if you have any issue go to the court.
How much the executive values judicial time cannot even be a matter of debate. In no way it can be proven they even have scant respect. From faulty affidavits to off the cuff representations in courts to endlessly taking time, speaks it all. With a battery of lawyers all across, on taxpayers dole they are the permanent winners even if they lose any number of cases. Unfortunately, most of the cases come out of government inaction, wrong action, ignorance or a blatant lapse or an incapability to deliver. The biggest litigant always provides a tailspin to the judicial time. Remember the governments fighting over oxygen during the second wave. You may call another spree of judicial time tailspin cases with regards to government formation, defections and making / breaking of governments.
The lust for power has thus become a guzzler of judicial time. A constitutional bench with of 5 or 7 or 9 judges spending precious judicial time on adjudicating the validity of some executive action, which is either because of going government / official going overboard or for not been able to a taken judicious or substantive decision. It can also be part of an agenda. You can value judicial time if justice is the final goal of all the warring parties. All stakeholders know the paucity of judicial time and that it cannot be expanded however much we wish. So, it has to be utilized in the best possible manner. Do our lawyers have any inkling of this thought process? It does not concern him is his unspoken thought process. Then the governments delaying lots of appointments of judges, all come in the way of the availability of judicial time and its most appropriate usage.
WITH IMPORTANT ISSUES PENDING ENDLESSLY, AND JUDICIAL TIME GETTING EXHAUSTED, WE ARE TODAY POSITIONED AT THE QUEEREST CROSSROAD OF DEMOCRACY.