The delivery of justice by the integrated judicial system in our country is critical towards ensuring that each citizen is neither denied justice nor is justice delayed for him/her. Judiciary is also known as the guardian of the ‘Democracy, Constitution and Rule of Law’. The judicial system in many democratic nations works in a qualitative and speedy manner. While the Indian Judicial Service is strong in terms of quality but significantly lacks in speedy justice, people spend a large amount of money and time waiting for court orders and delivery of justice only to end up disappointed.
Delay in justice has caused lakhs of people who are registered as a criminal and are confined under punitive jail confinements, for due process to prevail. Thousands are under punitive actions for petty crimes and have spent more jail time than is required by law.
The most important cause for judicial delay in India is the lack of judges and lack of infrastructure. Loopholes in the laws passed by the Parliament or unconstitutional laws passed by the Parliament (sometimes parliament passes laws that are against the principle of the constitution. This creates extra workload for the supreme court, who is the interpreter of the law). And also, population growth has a significant amount to contribute towards judicial delay.
Both the Central Government and the Supreme court together have brought out a significant amount of reforms in the Indian judicial system. The introduction of the PIL, which aimed at providing free-of-cost judicial service is a matter of public interest. The central government through the Centre-sponsored schemes has provided funds to computerise the district courts as well.
The government has also constituted Gram nyayalayas by enacting, Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008. This has enabled justice to be delivered at even the grass-root level. Providing constitutional status to ‘Lok Adalats’ also helped the Judiciary perform its task in a much faster way. The central government along with state governments has set up a family court to ensure speedy delivery of the due process of law.
Despite a number of reforms coming from both, the Government and the Supreme court, the number of un-attended cases is increasing each day, thus, just creating new laws or setting up new courts won’t help. Instead, the Government should concentrate more on the output model. Have feedback on a regular basis and then incorporate those suggestions in its policy decisions.
Supreme court must uphold the principle of checks and balance, thus must rule out its decision to consider, Appointment of Judges is a basic doctrine, keeping foremost in mind, the interest of people of this country, and should work with the Government established to fill the vacancies of the courts in India. The Supreme Court should also decentralize itself and constitute regional benches.
We have seen in time, neither the Supreme court nor the Government succeeded in filling up the vacancies of the courts in India by working alone but by working together the dream is achievable. The Supreme Court by decentralizing itself and constituting regional benches, can make sure that the last hope of people, i.e. the judiciary is cheap and affordable and noone is denied justice.
It is hoped that the third pillar of democracy is empowered to move quickly on the pending cases, and a critical determinant of this would be the political will that can be garnered in Parliament, over and above the renewed attention that must be drummed up for this long-pending issue from various stakeholders, most importantly, the media and the citizenry.