With a view to bring down pendency of cases in courts in the state and ensure timely delivery of justice, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday proposed to set up a joint committee of the state government and Gujarat High Court to address the issue.
Stating that the state government was ready to support any reform initiative of the judiciary, Rupani proposed to set up a joint committee which can suggest ways to address the pendency of cases in courts. He noted that around 22 lakh cases were pending in various courts of the state and that the committee can suggest ways to dispose of such cases. The CM suggested that the joint committee can have officers of the state government and judges of the High Court as its members.
“After an individual approaches a court of law, his next generation gets justice. This is true particularly in civil matters. Desperate for justice, a litigant tends to agree for a compromise in such an environment,” Rupani said after inaugurating the newly-established district and sessions court of Devbhoomi Dwarka district in Khambhaliya town.
With this, Devbhoomi Dwarka becomes 30th judicial district of the state. Devbhoomi Dwarka was carved out of Jamnagar district as a new administrative district by the state government in 2013. But until today, it was a part of Jamnagar judicial district.
The CM further said that the state government is litigant in about 70 per cent of pending cases. He suggested that adjudication of cases should be made faster and one way. He added that he wishes to make Gujarat number one in respect of the justice delivery system. He said that timely delivery of justice would enhance people’s faith in democracy and that judiciary had an important role to play in ensuring this.
Speaking earlier on the occasion, Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, Justice R Subhash Reddy said they were trying their best to clear the pendency. He said that they had decided to take up on priority basis such cases which are pending for more than five years in courts. New cases, he further said, were being referred for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms whenever possible to prevent the list of pending cases getting longer.
The Chief Justice also asked judges to think over their working style by saying that delay in adjudicating cases was something which should not happen in times when forensic science and other technologies are there to assist the process. He also suggested that members of local bar association and respective lower courts and judicial officers of such courts should review pending cases every year.
Incidentally, while inaugurating district and sessions court of Morbi in October this year, Justice Reddy had sought help of the state government to reduce pendency of cases as the government was litigant in number of cases and it had financial implications for the state exchequer also. Cases of compensation under Motor Vehicles Act, Prohibition Act and other petty cases form bulk of pending cases, the CJ had then said.