A case for addressing the defective system of justice

Chief Justice of India  justice TS Thakur became emotional speaking about an “overburdened” judiciary in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices on Sunday. He was critical of the government for delaying judicial appointments. KK Sethi, a former bureaucrat, takes a pragamatic and objective view of the problems underscored by the CJI.



KK Sethi
KK Sethi

In my view no one wants to tackle the real issue. Delays in disposal of cases and consequent piling up of cases is due to the defective system of justice.

In fact no one is concerned about justice, it is adjudication they are concerned with. This means that there are two sides who try to outwit each other. They seek ever new and sometimes fancy arguments to do it. The arguments go on and on, both in civil and criminal cases. Whole volumes of case law is read. This naturally takes time.

Secondly there are appeals, revisions, reviews ad nauseum, many of them on frivolous ground. 

Thirdly, the public interest litigation, admitted and encouraged by superior judiciary. They even go for suo moto cognition. There was a time when judges did not concern themselves with publicity. The off the cuff remarks catch the fancy of the press and make beautiful one liners.

Fourthly, do we see a judge doing overtime (except in the matter of granting bail to salman khan). Lots of civilian officers do it as a matter of routine.

Instead of being emotional about it, serious consideration should be given to the causes and also for applying the correctives.

Read earlier story: Overburdened Judiciary: CJI’s plight, PM’s assurance and the ground reality

About the author: KK Sethi is a retired bureaucrat who is highly respected for his commitment to the larger cause of society. He has held several important posts and was Chief Secretary Manipur and President Board of Revenue in Madhya Pradesh. As Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities, he had presented to the President of India, the forty-fourth Annual Report under Article 350- B (2) of the Constitution. For the implementation of the constitutional provisions and Nationally Agreed Scheme of Safeguards provided to linguistic minorities,  the report recommends action to be taken by the Central Government and various State Governments / Union Territory Administration, to assuage the feelings of the linguistic minorities.

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