Common people these days are dissatisfied with the Judicial System
. And that
is happening because of some very big drawbacks or inability of our judicial
system. Our judicial system is lacking behind in some very important fields and
here I will be discussing some of the big issues of the Indian Judiciary today
among many other.
The first one is Pendency of cases
and Delay in Judgements
. Now these two
issues are the core of common people having the dissatisfaction with our
judiciary today because the number of pending cases are very high in numbers and
they poses a serious threat to the capacity of Indian Judiciary because even
with the pendency there is no guarantee that the judgement will be fair to the
This problem is mainly rooted in District and High Courts
where people approach at the beginning seeking justice. This has also raised a
very important question that will these delays can ensure a fair trial to the
parties of the cases. And this is why these issues of pending cases and delay in judgements is a serious threat to our judiciary and a very big reason for the
dissatisfaction for judiciary among common people for the judiciary that even
after investing so much time and money in fighting the cases and there is still
no certainty that whether the trail will be fair or not. But these two reasons
are not the only reasons for the dissatisfaction as the lawyers and judges also
contributes largely to the problem of dissatisfaction from judiciary by common
Which brings me to my second point and that is No Accountability of Advocates
. Sometimes the number of days or months or years the court takes to
decide a case it has been felt among the people that judges and lawyers
themselves doesn't want to ever catch up with the pending cases.
For example-in the famous Ram Janam Bhumi case
the courts kept adjourning the matter for
years by various reasons like sometimes the lawyers were not prepared and it was
not even considered as Fast Track case considering it was such a big issue, no
accountability was held on the lawyers as to why they were not prepared.
this type of attitude raises the question and very serious one that:
Judiciary Takes their work Seriously? At the present time there are more than
35 million cases pending in India and all the courts plays a very important role
in keeping it that way including Supreme court. A very good example of the above
stated statement is that in the year of 1999 an amendment came which provided
that any court could grant only three adjournments during the hearing of a suit
and it fixed an upper limit as prior to 1999 there was no limits as to how many
adjournments a court can grant during a suit.
However, in the case of Salem
Advocate Bar Association-II in 2005, the Supreme Court interpreted this
restriction as not curtailing the courts power to allow more than three
adjournments. Although this decision have been revoked by tens of High courts
decisions which proudly claims the court's inherent rights to endlessly
adjourns, this decision has had has an active afterlife and it was a big step to
fight the problem of pending cases.
But is it enough?
And the answer is NO
because mere written laws are not being applied in day to day cases as it is and
that is because of another very important issue which is also the third and the
last issue which I would be discussing today.
The 1999 Amendment fixed the
timeframe for yet another important provision which directly impacted the
court's general power to extend timelines. It specifically disallowed the courts
from enlarging the time granted by them for doing any act prescribed or allowed
by the Code
beyond a maximum period of 30 days.
However, in the same 2005 case, the Supreme Court interpreted this timeframe as
one not attenuating the inherent power of Indian courts to pass orders as may be necessary for the ends of
justice or to prevent abuse of process of the Court
. In order to curb the
practice of non-prosecution of cases filed by litigants, the 1999 Amendment also
fixed an outer timeline of 30 days for service of summons on defendants.
However, in 2003, in the case of Salem Advocate Bar Association-I (AIR 2003 SC
189) the Supreme Court interpreted this to mean that 30 days limit designated
only the outer timeframe within which steps must be taken by the plaintiff
to enable the court to issue the summons. In other words, the court held that
the provision did not specify a time limit within which summons ought to be
served on the defendant by the court. Insertion of another timeframe that was
pivotal to curbing delays was introduced in 2002. Prior to 2002, a written
statement could be filed within any time as permitted by the court.
Amendment incorporated a mandatory outer timeline for filing written statement
by not allowing the courts to accept it beyond a period of 90 days from the date
of service of summons. However, in the 2005 judgment of Kailash vs Nanhku
2005 SC 2441), the Supreme Court relaxed this statutorily prescribed deadline by
interpreting it as merely directory and not mandatory. It held that courts could
use their discretion in unspecified exceptional circumstances to accept delayed
This case has been applied as a virtual carte blanche by
lawyers to file written statements beyond 90 days as a matter of course. Thus
the exceptional has become the new normal. Evidently, in each of these
illustrations, the Supreme Court relaxes the timeframe inserted by the
amendments and restores to the courts discretion to dilute them in accordance
with the courts' perceived sense of justice. These illustrations are not merely
fragmentary instances. Similar examples of the undoing of procedure may be found
for nearly every provision in the Code that contains a time limit.
illustrations are in fact, a sampling of the adjudicatory manoeuvres by which
the Supreme Court has unwittingly come to countenance delay, in contradiction to
the express wordings and intent of the Code. In addition, phrases like procedures are the handmaiden of justice
, frequently invoked by the Supreme
Court, serve as lexical alibis by which departures from procedure are introduced
The last issue is the Corruption in Judiciary
which is a bitter truth of our
judiciary as the corruption is rooted on almost every step of the judiciary and
is also a very big reason which keeps in motion the above two stated issues.
This is issue that we will discuss today will be in detail as this is the reason
for the above two problems at a large extent because as the corruption being
present at almost every step of judiciary it is not hard to deduce that it also
affects the decisions and the proceeding of judiciary at a large extent. The
sheer number of cases pending in the Indian judicial system (over 25 Million)
says it all.
Given that, and the number of judges across various states (per lakh of
population), the system is rife with delays and inefficiencies -- ideal
conditions for middlemen to step in and there are several elements through which
I will try to explain this issue. The first one is Inaccessibility', The
judicial system is highly dilatory, expensive, and beyond the reach of the
common man. Ordinary citizens find it hard to seek redress, as litigation is
expensive and extra money is often required to oil the wheels of the system. The
Second is Misuse of Power
There are instances of Metropolitan Magistrates
issuing bailable arrest warrants against individuals of whose identities he has
no idea, in return for an inducement like Some time back, a Metropolitan
Magistrate in Ahmedabad issued bailable arrest warrants against the President of
India in return for an inducement of Rs 40,000. And several other instances of
these types have been reported by the media but no action has resulted. Third
one is Difficult Impeachment Process
The Supreme Court of India has ruled
that no first information report (FIR) can be registered against a judge, nor, a
criminal investigation initiated without prior approval of the Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court. Once appointed, a judge of the High Court or Supreme Court
cannot be sacked except by a complicated impeachment process, done by members of
the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the two houses of Indian parliament.
immunity is reinforced by the fact that the procedure isn't just cumbersome but
also susceptible to political influence. In the 1990s, when the Congress was in
power, a motion seeking to impeach Justice V Ramaswami could not be passed by
parliament as Congress members of parliament abstained from voting.
There have been no other attempts at impeachment in India. And this shows that
there is political interference in our Judicial system which is not a good sign
for the judiciary of any country. The last one is Slow and Inefficiency
, Many cases
drag on for years and the common excuse is the lack of staff, but the judicial
process itself is unnecessarily complicated and inefficient, making cases drag
on for a long time.
Bribes are sometimes ought to advance the judgement or bend
it. At last count, some 35 million cases were pending in Indian courts. Now the
reason that people are forced to either bribe the judge or the lawyer is because
they know that it is necessary to get or bend the judgement or at least receive
a judgement since the fact that there are over 35 million cases still pending
says it all.
Another rising issue among common people is about the number of working days of
courts in India because in the whole year the courts remains closed for more
than 100 days for instance in the last year the supreme court was closed for 138
days minus the number of holidays judges can take personally.
So, if our apex
court takes this much holidays when there is only one apex court the rest can be
assumed that how many holidays the lower courts have in a year and still at this
rate our judiciary hopes to catch up with over 35 million pending cases which
seems next to impossible. So, for almost 6 months they are on holiday although
they need time to study hard cases but to grant justice to people is also their
duty so they have to make a balance betwwen the two because as the famous
proposition is there that Justice delayed as Justice denied.
So, in the conclusion we can say that even that I have discussed the issue of
corruption in the last but by looking at the current affairs and the cases on
retired judges of bribes and corruption that our judiciary is affected by the
corruption on a large scale and the other issues like pending cases, delay in
judgements, accountability of advocates or judges actually comes under the wing
of corruption minus the issue of number of working days of courts in India.
course it is true that the lack of staff is a genuine reason but it is not hard
to deduce by looking at the facts that the lack of staff is not the only reason
for inefficiency of the Indian judiciary and that is probably the main reason as
to why Common People are so Dissatisfied by the Performance of Indian Judiciary
- Arpit Dhaka, College - Manipal University Jaipur
E-mail – [email protected]
- Mukul Bajaj, College - Manipal University Jaipur
E-mail – [email protected]