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On Friday, July 27, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra proposed a 15-point plan to reduce pendency of cases in the judicial system.
CJI Misra was delivering his inaugural address at the national conference On ‘Initiatives To Reduce Pendency And Delays In Judicial System’.
The inaugural session of this conference held on Friday saw addresses from Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph, apart from the CJI himself.
At the outset, CJI Misra clarified that pendency of cases is not the same as arrears of cases. He said that only the cases which are not disposed of within their case-life turn into arrears and not every delay should be hurriedly termed as an arrear.
One of the major roadblocks, CJI Misra said, was a high number of vacancies, particularly in the lower judiciary. He rightly pointed out that the litigants’ tryst with the Judiciary usually takes place at the lower judiciary level.
He highlighted that at the lower judiciary level, the arrears have been brought under control despite a fairly low number of judge-population ratio.
A large number of pending criminal appeals was identified as one of the most pressing issues. CJI Misra said that he has urged the High Courts to hear criminal appeals on Saturdays also. He says that the right to life and liberty of an undertrial or an accused-appellant is jeopardised in case of a pending criminal appeal, and the Judiciary must take all steps possible to protect this right.
“The avalanche of litigation and the docket of pending cases has to be controlled with a deft approach.”, CJI Misra said.
The suggestions proposed by the CJI are:
Read the full text of the speech below: