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Next CJI: Lack of governance choking Indian justice delivery system

Critical of the executive action, Justice Thakur said that the government required to be responsive to time.

Written by Utkarsh Anand |
Updated: February 13, 2015 8:59:58 am

Senior Supreme Court judge Justice T S Thakur, who is due to take over as the Chief Justice of India later this year, on Thursday blamed “lack of governance” and “officials’ inability to take decisions” as prime reasons behind the deluge of cases choking the justice delivery system.

Pointing out that the government of India was a party in most cases pending across the courts in the country, Justice Thakur said that it was neither a good sign nor a good policy of the government to drag all sorts of disputes to the courts.

“Courts are flooded with litigation due to officials’ inability to take decisions. Large number of cases involving government as one of the parties is not a good sign. It is also not a good policy of the government to drag disputes to courts…it shows there is no proper screening of cases by the government,” he said, while delivering a lecture at Asia-Pacific International Summit on Mediation in New Delhi.

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Critical of the executive action, Justice Thakur said that the government required to be responsive to time and should also promote dispute resolution mechanism that was essential to avoid litigation in courts.

“A lot of government disputes can be easily resolved via mediation. Government needs to be responsive to time. Large cases against govt shows lack of governance…large cases coming to courts shows the faith people have in the judiciary,” added the judge.

Stating that the Supreme Court was not a “promotion club” PIL and that such cases had to be entertained to protect fundamental rights of the people, Justice Thakur maintained that there was in imperative need to take away the extra burden on judiciary by promoting alternate dispute resolution like mediation.

He said that mediation and other methods of out-of-court settlements had to be promoted in India as now, the top court of the country was compelled to spend a lot of time on cases involving bounced cheques and anticipatory bail.

Justice J S Khehar, who is slated to become the CJI in January 2017, also spoke during the summit, and underlined the necessity of creating an atmosphere as well as adequate infrastructure to promote mediation as a preferable, cost effective and timely mechanism to resolve disputes. He said that India required to adopt a peculiar model of alternate dispute resolution mechanism owing to its specific cultural traits and a lot of deliberation must take place to put in place a system.

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