With the changing times in the development in all spheres of democracy, the new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, have taken command and as he has promised is set to bring change to the slowest Judicial proceeding, and clear the backlog of cases in the country.
Justice Gogoi is taking steps to address the issue, by the ways of keeping a check on attendance and regulating of leaves, and as on the first day sir streamlined the process for listing urgent cases. With the new changes under implementation, sir believes that the judicial process will improve to speedy redressal if the Judiciary is disciplined.
Recently, Justice Gogoi ordered that judges should not take leave on working days, unless in case of an emergency. While addressing a meeting of Chief Justices of High Courts recently, he asked them to notify him if any of the high court or subordinate court judges fail to adhere to the regime. The Chief Justice also expressed displeasure on the practice of judges attending seminars and official functions during working hours of the court.
With the new implementation and progressive development attitude of sir, he highlighted the importance of punctuality and stressed upon the need to bring down the number of pending civil cases and criminal law suits which currently stand at around 3 crore in various courts across the country. The Chief Justices has also ordered to fast track the process of recommending names for the appointment of High Court Judges, because as of now over 400 of the 1079 Judges’ posts at the high courts are lying vacant and the numbers are nearly double at the subordinate courts.
“I and my colleagues are working on a system which can provide better results. We are trying to reduce the time in the filing of cases and their listing (before the court). We are trying to introduce a system where cases don’t get dropped. If we succeed, perhaps a large section of mentioning will go away altogether.” Chief Justice stated.
The new Chief Justice has already made few changes at the administrative level in the Supreme Court. He has ordered that on every week on Wednesday & Thursday, at least five benches will hear the criminal appeals that are awaiting disposal and the first 10 matters are to be the ones in which the petitioners are wasting away in jail.
This is in contrast to the rule that only those benches that have roster of criminal appeal could hear such cases. The step is a welcome as it would help clear the backlog of criminal appeals pending in the court for over a decade. And when the court resumes after the Dussehra break, the CJI is intending to extend the same practice to civil appeals.
In a recent address to advocates, CJI assured everyone that changes are being made and to be patient with him. He conveyed that from here onwards no matter will be deleted from the list without properly intimating the lawyer. He also pointed out that the time that is taken between filling a matter and its listing will be shortened so that there will be no need for requesting an early hearing in regular matter. He strictly requested every advocate present to not to mention random cases for early listing unless it’s an utmost emergency.
It is evident that more changes are yet to come. How much they will benefit the Indian Judiciary in the long run, only time will be able to tell.