Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Trial to Verdict in 1 year

New pledge: Trial to verdict in 1 year

5,000 New Courts To Work In 3 Shifts To Dispose Of 2.74 Crore Pending Cases

New Delhi: In a country where courts take decades to deliver verdicts, this is sure to sound audacious.

Law minister Veerappa Moily is attempting the unthinkable — reducing the life of litigation from an average 15 years at present to one year, and that too in just three years from now. The ‘mission document’, which his ministry is preparing to be used as a ‘roadmap’ for judicial reforms, backs up this high-spirited plan with measures like setting up 5,000 new courts across the country that will work in three shifts — morning, day and evening.

“The infrastructure will remain the same but we will get the work of 15,000 courts to liquidate the 2.74 crore cases, which are pending in trial courts clogging the wheels of justice and entailing a litigant’s endless wait for a decision in his case,” Moily told TOI in an interview. To start with, there will be Gram Nyayalays, which will be functional from Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 this year, he said. “In the coming three years, we will set up 5,000 more courts with a clear mandate that from the time of filing of a case till its decision, no more than six months time should be taken,” he said and hoped that a substantial percentage of the pendency would be wiped off.

These additional courts will be backed by a solid case management plan that includes clubbing identical cases. Importantly, a judge cannot keep his judgment reserved for a long time. “While cutting down delay in completing the trial procedure for each case, there will be a time limit put on every judge to deliver his verdict,” Moily said, adding, “The time limit for giving judgments after completion of hearing will also be applicable to judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.”

Operation Clean-Up, A 3-Year Project

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