Judicial reforms in India
To talk in the numerical view, as of today, there are more than 14,000 courts in our country. And can you assume how many cases would be ? there are 4 crore cases , just imagine !!. We have 14000 judges, but if we count the working ratio judges, there are simply 12,500 judges. And per judge, it is coming around 4000 cases. This is over load. The supreme court is the apex in the country. Its final judgement, would be treated as final, if the other high courts sometimes fail to do.
If we talk about the procedure of the Supreme court, the jurisdiction extends upto the disputes of the unions and the states of the Nation. The Supreme court consists of a chief justice and 25 other justices. They got appointed by the President , with the advice of the Prime Minister. They are that much powerful officers.
There are 21 high courts in our country. The chief justice of the High court is also appointed by the President in consultation with the chief justice of India and the Governor of the State. And again each state is divided into judicial districts presided over by a district and a sessions judge. That judge is considered as the highest judicial authority in a district. And under him, there are courts of civil jurisdiction and there sub-judges , civil judges and the like.
There is an agency named Lok Adalat, acted as an agency to the court. It functions in different ways , the cases which are pending the court, and finalize the disputes. It is deemed to be a decree of the civil court. December 31, 2007, more than 6,90,000 Lok Adalats are there in different parts of the country. They have settled 1,86,00,000 cases.
The retirement of age of the judge of th high court is 65, where as the judge of the supreme court increased by 3 years. In US, there is no retirement age for the judges of the supreme court. The courts are functioning according to the procedure laid down in the criminal procedure code, civil procedure code, Indian Evidence etc, etc. Nani Palkhiwala, the famous journalist, observed once, the progress of a civil suit in our courts of Law is the closest thing to eternity we can experience !
But the negative part is , there are about 25 million cases are pending in district courts, 3.5 million courts are pending in the High courts and 22,000 cases are pending in the Supreme court. If we count the other courts , there may be a total pending of 15 million cases. Many of these cases are pending for a long time, on an average for five years. So, it is necessary that, there should be an increase in the judges.
Daniel Webster, a leading American lawyer, has said that “ Justice is the greatest end of a man. TheJustice is the end while law is a means”. He has stated the following factors as the weightage of the judicial reforms , take the judicial reforms as 100 %, to get that 100% , the following 15 factors, will affect the reform :-
- Judge strength – 20%
- Procedural laws – 10%
- Quality of laws – 5%
- Court procedure - 7%
- Court’s mechanism - 7%
- Working hours of courts – 2%
- Service notices and submission of courts - 6%
- Delay in delivery of judgements – 1%
- Training of Judges - 5%
- Quality of legislative drafting - 1%
- Observance of professional conduct - 2%
- Alternative disputes Resolution and Tribunals - 4%
- Legal profession and Legal Education - 2%
- Setting of Gram nyayalayas - 4%
- Infrastructural facilities for Judiciary - 2%
Thus, judicial reform is just less than 50 percent, efforts includes the remaining 50 percent. There should be adequate training to the judges, improvement in the legal profession, to give an effective JUDICIARY TO THE COUNTRY.