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Tarikh Pe Tarikh Syndrome In Indian Courts

The Indian judicial system is plagued with delays, a problem that is summarized by the Hindi/Urdu phrase "tareekh pe tareekh," meaning "date after date" in English. This phrase holds significant meaning and impact on court cases in India, reflecting a chronic issue of the legal process. In order to fully understand the implications and importance of "tareekh pe tareekh", let's further delve into this topic.

Repeated deferrals of court proceedings, hearings, or judgments have led to the popular phrase "tareekh pe tareekh" becoming a potent symbol of the protracted delays in the Indian legal system. This phrase effectively highlights the incessant postponements that inevitably lead to frustrating and drawn-out legal proceedings.

Litigants face a problem with accessing justice, as adjournments occur excessively and can lead to cases dragging on for years. This places heavy financial burdens on those involved and goes against the essential principle of prompt justice for citizens. The phrase "tareekh pe tareekh" implies that such delays occur often and greatly hinder access to justice.

Indian courts face a grave issue with an abundance of cases that has led to several 'tareekh pe tareekh'. This backlog is due to several aspects, such as insufficient judges, intricate legal procedures, inadequate numbers of public prosecutors, poor infrastructure in lower courts e.g., in one courts xerox machine was found to be out of order leading to non-service of relevant copy of documents to the defence side and subsequent delay in trial, and understaffed courts. A radical reformation is essential to resolve this issue.

India's lower courts are grappling with numerous obstacles that impair their ability to efficiently administer justice, with several challenges demanding immediate attention. Long delays plague these courts, caused by a substantial backlog of cases. This backlog is the outcome of insufficient judges and support staff, as well as elaborate legal proceedings. The sheer number of cases has swamped the courts, making it difficult for them to provide prompt resolutions, thereby eroding public confidence in the legal system.

The detrimental impact of vacant positions is clear as it compounds the issue of case backlogs and further exacerbates the already delayed justice system. Filling the vacancies of qualified judges is crucial. This is essential in addressing the dire shortage of judicial officers in lower courts, which hampers the courts' ability to hear and dispose of cases in a timely manner. Many positions remain unfilled, and it has become increasingly detrimental.

Insufficient infrastructure and outdated legal procedures present considerable obstacles to lower courts. A large proportion of these courts lack essential items like cutting-edge technology, courtrooms, and legal resources. Even though modernizing legal proceedings and accelerating case resolution could be a possible solution, implementing these changes is hindered by the scarcity of infrastructure and resources. Resolving these structural and procedural issues is significant in improving the effectiveness of lower courts in India and ensuring that justice is accessible to all citizens. Altogether, this scenario requires immediate attention.

The pressing need for judicial reform and modernization in the Indian legal system has sparked discussions and debates through the repeated use of the phrase "Reform and Modernization". Attention has been drawn to the resolution of case backlog and the prolonged delays in court proceedings that require prompt escalation.

Conversations about streamlining court procedures, adopting technology, and increasing the number of judges have been sparked by the phrase "tareekh pe tareekh," which emphasizes the need for greater efficiency and accountability in the judicial process. The phrase highlights the pressing demand for quicker case resolution.

The Indian legal system's existing challenges have come into the spotlight, thanks to the phrase "Public Awareness." This has spurred legal professionals and citizens alike to clamour for increased transparency and efficiency within the court system.

Indian judiciary's efficiency has been focused on by legal reforms, with their policies pushing to reduce delays, caused by "tareekh pe tareekh," and tackle the systemic issues leading to backlogs.

"Tareekh pe tareekh" holds a significant meaning as it highlights a fundamental problem that lies within the Indian judicial system. This phrase emphasizes the pressing need for enhancement and effectiveness in order to guarantee that equitable legal solutions and prompt justice are provided to every resident in the country. India is putting forth ongoing attempts to manage these obstacles and streamline the legal procedures to overcome the conundrum of "tareekh pe tareekh.

Court Judgment
"Lawyers must stop seeking repeated adjournments; we cannot have the Supreme Court functioning like a 'tareekh pe tareekh' court," exclaimed Justice DY Chandrachud on September 9th, 2022. The judge expressed strong disapproval alongside Justice Hima Kohli, when a lawyer requested more time to discuss a matter and stated they had circulated a letter for adjournment.

To avoid earning the reputation of a 'tareekh pe tareekh' court, it is crucial that the matter at hand be argued. However, we may choose to delay it by placing it last on the board's agenda. Our stance is clear: we will not adjourn the matter.

Recalling the famous dialogue from the Bollywood flick 'Damini', where actor Sunny Deol speaks out against adjournments and fresh dates during court hearings, Justice Chandrachud emphasized the importance of dignity attached to the highest court of the land. The lawyer, representing a Hindu priest in a civil appeal, was urged to keep this in mind.

The bench in the Supreme Court observed that the only thing the counsel for different parties agree on is an adjournment, making it their only shared trait.

Hence, there is an urgent need to prepare the blueprint of a model court with adequate number of officers and supporting staff along with matching presence of equipment and infrastructure and implement this model throughout the country to combat the menace of 'tareekh pe tareekh'. The public prosecutors and the defence lawyers need to be educated in this regard. Proper co-ordination is also required between the judiciary and the executive for filling up the vacancies and releasing the resources required for upgrading the court infrastructure particularly at the sub-division and district level.


Written By: Md.Imran Wahab, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9836576565

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