Justice T S Thakur, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court on Thursday criticised the government for being the “biggest litigant” saying that large number of cases against it “cannot be a good sign of good governance”.
“Large number of cases coming to court is a good sign in the sense that people still have faith in judiciary and its efficacy to settle the matters but large number of cases coming against the government cannot be a good sign of good governance,” Justice Thakur said.
Asking the government to be responsive to prevent cases coming to the courts, the judge, delivering his key note address on the inauguration of three days Asia Pacific International Mediation Summit, said that large number of cases in the court shows that no mechanism exists to scrutinize the cases “which need to be contested and which not to be contested”.
“Why should the government system not be responsive so as to prevent litigations where it can rationally and logically be prevented,” Justice Thakur said adding that the “Govenment is the biggest litigant in the country. For past several years we are grappling with the problem of extensive litigation in which the government is involved.”
He said that every case filed irrespective of merits is burdening the judiciary, costing the exchequer and increasing the pendency of case.
“This is something I say is deficit in governance. Governance is not just army, police, road, building etc but governance also is adjudicating rights of a citizn which is legitimately due to him,” he said.
The three day summit on mediation is organized by Association of Indian Mediators and American Bar Association.
Recalling that in Jammu and Kashmir, former chief minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had devised a nucleus system within law department to prevent cases from going to the court, Justice Thakur wondered as “why can’t a similar system be put in place to decide whether a case is fit to contest in the court”.
He said that there are so much litigation in the courts not because the litgations are really inevitable but because of the inability and refusal of the person concerned to take any decision.
“No one is ready to take a decision. So everyone feels well this may be a right claim but why should I take the responsiblity for this decision or anyone can raise a finger and say this man agreed to concede this claim for any extranious consideration,” he said.