Indian Judiciary - Points to Ponder
Increased pendency of cases and delay in justice delivery.
Complex procedures, Inaccessbility and high costs.
Loss of faith in judiciary.
Marginalization of poor and illiterate.
Increased violence against women in urban areas.
Need for speedy justice in cases related to ill-treatment of women and others.
Decline in the quality of judicial officers in subordinate judiciary
Lack of efficient mechanism to recruit competitive judges
Lack of incentives to attract commited talent
There are roughly about 14,600 judges as against the sanctioned strength of about 17,600 (including 630 High Court Judges and 31 SC judges).
Source: Council of Europe,nov 2010 paper on comparative litigation by Ramseyer and Eric Rasmusen of Harvard Law School
Judiciary Strength - A Snapshot View
In India there are 15 judges for every million people – compared to France with 109 judges, Australia with 40, Turkey with 101, Canada with 33, and the USA with 108 judges per million.
The average percentage of cases pending trial in state high courts and lower courts has increased to 84.81% in 2013 compared with 82.8% a decade earlier.
The completion rate for cases has fallen to 13.19% in 2013 from 14.61% in 2003. In 2013, the outstanding number of criminal cases before the judiciary was 9.71 million in 2013
Judicial infrastructure and the number of judges inadequate : India has only 15 judges per million people in 2013, according to former CJI Altamas Kabir.
Huge disparity in the percentage of cases pending trial in different states : In Tamil Nadu, only 65 out of 100 cases are pending for trial compared with West Bengal’s pendency rate of 96.4%.
Inadequate strength of the police force also contributed to the backlog of cases. Nineteen of the 24 states have shown increase in the proportion of cases awaiting police investigation over the past decade
Source: LIVE MINT, 5th August ,2014.
Judicial Reforms proposed by FDR
Creation of All India Judicial Servie(AIJS)
Effective mechanism for the removal of judges
Facilitation of transparency in the appointments to the higher judiciary*
*The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill, 2014 and the Constitution (121st Amendment) Bill, 2014 passed by the two houses of the Parliament that seek to enable equal participation of Judiciary and Executive, make the appointment process more accountable and ensure greater transparency and objectivity in the appointments to the higher judiciary and do away with the present system, is the outcome of advocacy efforts of FDR . The bills are awaiting ratification from the state legislatures.
The scope of Gram Nyayalayas Act 2008 to cover urban areas to control crimes against women