Justice no longer delayed: Moily’s roadmap for reform
If Law Minister Veerappa Moily has his way, horror stories of years, even decades, spent waiting for a court verdict may soon be a thing of the past.
In an interview to a national daily this week, Moily said his ministry is planning to set up 5,000 new courts in the next three years, each working in three shifts to clear a backlog of 27.4 million cases pending in trial courts.
The Moily ministry’s roadmap for judicial reforms sees court cases resolved in just a year. At present, some cases drag on for 15 years or more.
Also in the pipeline are time limits for delivering verdicts, laptops for trial court judges and retired judges pitching in with their time.
Some say these measures are necessary in a country which suffers from what the Chief Justice of India called a “chronic shortage of judicial officers“.
K.G. Balakrishnan is in favour of appointing more judges and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for quickly filling up High Court vacancies.
The law minister is also looking at reducing the number of cases filed on behalf of the government while others say there is a need to screen the rising number of public interest litigations.
Some even advocate plea bargaining, saying it could play a part in reducing the backlog of cases.
Reforms in the judiciary could also make India a better investment destination. Separate commercial courts or specialized chambers in existing courts could reduce the time and cost of commercial contract enforcement, the World Bank said in a report in June.
Will the Moily roadmap help revamp the Indian judicial system?