Blaming the lack of political will for slowing down the wheels of justice, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday urged the central government and judiciary to undertake an experiment in the capital to ensure cases in trial courts are finished within six months. Kejriwal promised his government will provide financial aid, manpower, additional court rooms, and all other resources to ensure the experiment is a successful one.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Delhi High Court, the Aam Aadmi Party convenor noted the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, Chief Justice of India H L Dattu and Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohini, and said he would make an appeal in their presence.
“I see an opportunity in Delhi. Our government wants to make all the resources available (to the judiciary). We have the political will. I want to invite all the stakeholders. Let us try an experiment in Delhi. Can we not have a judicial system in Delhi where it would take approximately six months for a civil or criminal case to conclude? We are ready to give the required number of officers, financial aid, land etc to have such a system,” he said.
Kejriwal said his government not only wanted an ideal judicial system in Delhi, but also to create a model which other states could emulate.
Expressing regret about inordinate delays crippling the justice delivery system, the chief minister said the judicial system was slow because the politicians wanted it that way. “There is a lack of political will. If there is a political will and all resources are provided to the judiciary, we can speed up the system,” said Kejriwal.
Saying people felt let down when they did not get justice, the chief minister said, “I don’t blame judiciary for the delay. I think politics and the political system are responsible for it”.
Kejriwal asserted that it is imperative for people to maintain faith in the judiciary when their confidence in the legislature and the executive is declining, adding that the foundation for this faith rested on the independence of the judiciary.
“Any interference in the judiciary’s independence will shake public confidence. Doubts may arise but those doubts have to be clarified… there cannot be any compromise with the independence of the judiciary,” he added.
Applauding the role of the Delhi High Court, Kejriwal said his government does not want to interfere with the functions of the judiciary and the finance department has been specifically instructed to expeditiously clear proposals from the judiciary.
Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, who also spoke on the occasion, said the judiciary has come to occupy a pivotal position in the administration of justice and congratulated the Delhi High Court for its professionalism, integrity and unwavering commitment in playing its part.