Justice no longer delayed: Moily’s roadmap for reform

September 25, 2009

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?


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My parents’ divorce has been pending for 15 years now. Almost everything that could have gone wrong did. From the lawyers not showing up, to the judge being on leave without informing anyone. And finally, after spending way too much money, time, energy, peace of mind, the case is still pending. But who cares after 15 years? Everyone has moved on…

Posted by Tanushree | Report as abusive

Sub :- We need RESULTS from the Honorablae law Minister Dr M Veerapa Moily . Enough talk for now , we need see action now on Judicial reform for the sufferring people of India,

Below is a of events and his utterances since he became law minister in new UPA government after elections in May 09. As of today all the promises look like lip service . How far will his promises and utterances be kept remains to be seen .

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Here is news of Mr Moily being sworn in as cabinet minister (May 22, 2009):

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Here is news of Mr Moily given post of law minister (May 28, 2009):

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May 30, 2009 – CHICKABALLAPUR: Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily on
Friday said the Centre would come out with comprehensive anti-terrorism laws
in accordance with the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms
Commission (ARC), headed by him. Mr. Moily, who assumed office as the Law
Minister … (May 30, 2009):

http://www.hindu.com/2009/05/30/stories/ 2009053054081100.htm

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Jun 3, 2009 – The long-pending controversial women’s reservation bill is on
“top” of Government’s agenda to be made into “reality”, Law Minister M
Veerappa Moily said on Wednesday. “As far as our party and government is
concerned we would like to ensure that it comes early. (Jun 3, 2009):

www.indianexpress.com/news/Women–s-reser vation-bill-on—top—of-Govt-agenda–

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Mr Moily stating state govts not done enough to ward off menace of
capitation fees (Jun 5, 2009):

www.timesnow.tv/Veerappa-Moily-State-gov ts-not-done-enough/articleshow/4318868.c  

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NEW DELHI: The ministry of law and justice is open to judicial reforms and
opening up Indian legal services to foreign law firms, minister for law and
justice Dr Veerappa Moily said on the sidelines of an event held in New
Delhi recently. (Jun 8, 2009):

economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/Politi csNation/Moily-open-to-judicial-reforms-  
foreign-law-firms-setting-shops/articles how/4629348.cms

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Law Minister Veerappa Moily looks set to push for a “mechanism” to provide
for “punishment” to judges who are proved guilty of corruption — the
existing provision for their impeachment only leads to their removal from
the post. He also wants some “regulations” to define contempt of… (Jun 15,

www.indianexpress.com/news/Moily-for-ste ps-to-take-corrupt-judges-to-task/476498

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Mr Moily stating that witness protection programme should be made part of
criminal justice system (Jun 23, 2009):

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002 200906231031.htm

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The Centre will soon bring in legislation to tackle issues related to
accountability and corruption in the judiciary, including provision for
punishment, Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily said on Sunday (Jun 29,

http://www.hindu.com/2009/06/29/stories/ 2009062959431100.htm

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NEW DELHI: Union law minister Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said he would look
into the allegation made by a Madras High Court Judge that a Union minister
had tried to influence him to grant anticipatory bail to a doctor and his
son in a forged mark sheets case filed by CBI (Jun 30, 2009):

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Govt-w ill-look-into-HC-judges-allegation-of-mi  
nister-pressure-Moily/articleshow/472027 8.cms

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Law minister Moily says they will examine the Delhi HC judgment on
legalization of gay sex among consenting adults (Jul 2, 2009):

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/We-wil l-examine-the-judgment-before-any-decisi  

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Law minister Veerappa Moily on Thursday reiterated that judicial reforms
were on the anvil and would be done as quickly as in two months time,
calling it a long-awaited decision (Jul 10, 2009):

http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/I ndia/Judicial-reforms-will-be-carried-ou t-soon-Moil

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Union Minister of Law and Justice, Veerappa Moily, on Monday said that more
than 2.6 crore cases were pending in the subordinate courts and over 39 lakh
cases were pending in high courts across the country (Jul 13, 2009):

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JAIPUR: The Union law ministry will soon approach the state to mark out the
most litigant departments. It has tried to initiate the process for listing
the departments facing maximum legal confrontations at the Central level.
This was announced by Union law minister Veerappa Moily (Jul 18, 2009):

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/ 4791139.cms

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Expressing an identical view, law minister Veerappa Moily had said that the
judges could not be equated with politicians and bureaucrats when it came to
declaration of assets. “There should be some in-built mechanism in the
proposed legislation to protect them from frivolous litigation: (Jul 24,

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/India/C JI-may-have-to-declare-assets-to-Preside  

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Forced by the Opposition to shelve the judges’ assets Bill, Union Minster
for Law and Justice M Veerappa Moily has ruled out fresh deliberations with
the Chief Justice of India on the issue (Aug 9, 2009):

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Judges –assets–Moily-says-will-talk-to-Oppn–

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Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily on Wednesday virtually backed Chief
Justice of India KG Balakrishnan on the issue of assets declaration by
judges and said if judges were voluntarily disclosing their assets and
wanting to become heroes, it is their wish.(Aug 26, 2009):

www.indianexpress.com/news/if-hc-judges- want-to-become-heroes-it-is-their-wish-m  

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New Delhi, Aug 27 (PTI) With Supreme Court judges deciding to make public
their assets, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily today welcomed the move and said
it is for the judges to decide how it should be done (Sep 8, 2009):

www.ptinews.com/news/250481_Moily-welcom es-decision-of-SC-judges-to-disclose-ass  

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DELHI: Barely 24 hours after CJI KG Balakrishnan asserted that sanctions to
prosecute babus were not always forthcoming, Union minister for law and
justice Veerappa Moily on Sunday said prior sanction should not be needed to
prosecute a public servant in a corruption case (Sep 14, 2009):

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/india/A mend-statute-to-nail-corrupt-babus-Moily  

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Not all FIRs should result in court cases: Moily (Sep 21, 2009). He also
talks about women judges in Supreme Court among other issues in this

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_not -all-firs-should-result-in-court-cases-m  

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Divorce cases should be disposed off in an year (Sep 23, 2009):

http://epaper.dnaindia.com/dnabangalore/ newsview.aspx?eddate=9/23/2009&pageno=1&  
edition=9&prntid=8834&bxid=27950876&pgno =1

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Moily’s ‘Mission\': Cut case life from 15 years to 1 year

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/ india/Moilys-Mission-Cut-case-life-from-  
15-years-to-1-year/articleshow/5047925.c ms

Now do you see a pattern in his utterances. He simply seems to echo what
seems to be the popular or majority opinion at the time. For example, watch
out for his utterances on following issues and just check how many of these
have been done:

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Current results – As of today

1. Comprehensive Anti terrorism law :- Did anything new or substantial
happen here?

2. Gay laws and Section 377 of IPC:- He is careful and sensitive on his
utterances here. See the number of gays may be small so there is no vote
bank, but can a law minister be seen to be going against liberal opinion
(read Western masters’ opinion) ? But at the same time he does not dare to
offend the real vote bank, so he will not openly support the Delhi HC
judgment but cover his words carefully.

4. Assets declaration by judges:-The minister flip-flops on this continuously:
first he sides with CJI Balakrishnan in saying ‘judges can choose to be
heroes” if they want to, indirectly sniping at Justice DV Shylendra Kumar
who had dared to disclose his assets going against CJI and coterie of judges
against assets declaration. A few days later, when CJI and coterie decide to
give in after seeing writing on the wall, he again says that is the right
thing to do! His government tables bill in parliament on assets declaration
which says something to the effect that judges will have to declare their
assets but only to other judges and no one else! Good that it gets thrown
out the same day due to all round opposition.

5. About pending cases and speeding up of trials in courts :- His utterances
here seem to be clockwork giving the suspicion it is being reminded to him
through a software reminder program. Every few days there will be a
statement about pending court cases, having three shifts in courts, judicial
reforms, recruitment of judges, cases solved from 15 years to 1 year and other promises. How much of that is actually going to happen remains to be seen.

6. Judicial Reform plan :- What about the Judicial reform framework plan that was supposed to come out in 2 months after he was sworn in ?

Posted by AG | Report as abusive

If he does pull this off, he becomes a hero. The pathetic state and pace of our current justice system pulls us down. It will be Awesome if anything happens. Lets keep our fingers crossed.

Posted by sagar_ap | Report as abusive

Mr. Moily has been only talking but doing nothing. There is no progress on enacting laws to fight corruption, and similarly there is no progress on delivering the speedy justice to needy. Total failure of him as a law minister.

Posted by Naveen Kumar | Report as abusive

Seems that Veerappa Moily has taken his firs step today and he is letting Quatrocchi go scot free. This is the first speedy disposal of a case. Uncannily, Gandhis are involved.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive