Law panel study on backlog of cases sought

Law panel study on backlog of cases sought

The government Thursday told the Supreme Court that it will ask the Law Commission to undertake a study on the additional courts and judges needed in lower judiciary to tackle piled up cases.

The government assured the court that it will "request the Law Commission to consider and convey to the government … its recommendations to standardize the definition of arrears and … setting up of additional courts and posts in lower judiciary for the purpose of tackling arrears."

The affidavit was filed by S.S. Chahar, joint secretary and legal advisor, law and justice ministry, in response to a Jan 12 apex court direction. Justice A.K. Ganguly and Justice T.S. Thakur had sought details on the requirement of additional courts.

The Law Commission had suo motu taken up for consideration improvements in justice delivery system in district and subordinate courts, the affidavit said. "The Law Commission will submit a part-report, in this regard at the earliest, to the government, incorporating concrete proposals for reforms in certain areas," the ministry told the court.

The government said the backlog of cases was linked "not only on the number of courts" but also on factors like "awareness generation, court processes, co-operation of members of bar, quality of legal education, policy and legislation, method of recruitment and quality of manpower addressing the disposal of cases".

The Law Commission was also considering factors which hamper quick and  effective access to justice and would submit its recommendations to the court, the affidavit said. The central government sought to share the blame for case arrears with the high courts and state governments.

It said the "requirement of setting up additional courts as well as creating additional branches in the respective courts is in the domain of each of the high courts and the state governments".

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