Days after Chief Justice of India T S Thakur made an impassioned plea before the government to help upgrade judicial infrastructure and start addressing the shortage of judges, Supreme Court judge Justice J Chelameswar held the government partly responsible for pendency of cases in courts.
He said that government was enacting new laws but not creating judicial infrastructure to deal with them, leading to pendency of cases. Chelameswar was speaking at a function at the Enforcement Directorate Day with MoS (Finance) Jayant Sinha on the dais.
“There are many reasons (for delay in courts). But one of the problems …only you (Sinha) can handle. The enthusiasm exhibited by the legislature in making new laws is not of the same degree when it comes to creating infrastructure for enforcement of that law,” he said.
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He said that while new laws are made, lack of enhancement in manpower and infrastructure in courts results in cases piling up. “You give a judge 30 cases a month, the efficiency level will be something. You give him 300 cases a month and you can imagine what will happen. Don’t drop the jurisdiction of new laws on the same district judge,” he said, demanding that the government create new forums for dealing with new laws.
“It is time the lawmakers realise that every time they make a new law, they need to make provisions, both financial and administrative, for adjudication of disputes. And this should happen in a new forum,” said Chelameswar.
On April 24, Justice Thakur, while addressing a joint conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts, with Prime Minister Modi and Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda present on the dais, had raised the same issue.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Thakur regretted “inaction” on the government’s part in strengthening the judicial infrastructure and increasing the judge-population ratio to tackle the “avalanche” of cases. He said that “it is not enough to criticise” the judiciary alone for the huge pendency.