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7 Steps for a speedy court system

Implementing My Delhi Manifesto

A few days ago  I wrote My Delhi Manifesto, where my suggestion was to have a speedy justice system to ensure compliance with the law. There are many reasons I believe we need to revamp our justice system. Who has not heard the saying: "Justice delayed is justice denied." We in India have taken it to the next level of incompetence. We have more cases pending in court than most countries have people. But talk is cheap and action is invaluable. I still remember reading the thought of the day outside the Sacred Heart Cathedral, New Delhi: "The smallest good deed is bigger than the grandest great thought".

So writing a blog is one thing implementing the suggestion is another. But here are a few steps we can take to speed up our justice system.

1. Courts on Vacation: We got independence in 1947 but some of the traditions of the Raj continue with the courts going on vacation during summer. WHY? I want to ask, with lakhs or court cases pending can we afford this Jurassic tradition from colonial masters? No other government department gets vacation then why courts? This should add productivity of 2 months to the system, that is hundreds of solved cases.

2. Automation of all records: In this IT age we still use all kind of papers etc. and typically files vanish whenever there is a controversial case like the coal scam. WHY? We need so much paper trail when everything can be automated. We should straight away work in that direction, this will ensure far greater transparency and speedy justice.

3. Service Level Agreement and TAT: The government collects taxes from people and has a legal and moral responsibility to provide service in return. So why not have a clear Service level agreement and Turn Around Time for every case that comes to court. This is more relevant for small cases which clog up the maximum time in courts. Once everybody will be working against a target things will automatically speed up. Once courts start delivering speedy justice people will have a healthy respect for law and they will think twice before breaking a law. Which automatically will reduce the burden on the courts.

4. ESMA: Our firemen, policemen, railways, hospital staff they all come under ESMA, i.e. Essential Services Maintenance Act and need to work even when they are protesting. But not our lawyers and courts. WHY? I want to ask,  is justice not a basic right of the citizen. Do you think it is OK to let a case linger for years and lose productivity when it can be solved in weeks if not in days? A speedy justice means a more productive workforce. 

5. Consolidation of Cases: A lot of related cases are handled in different courts. e.g. in one case, I know of divorce there were 4 cases going simultaneously in different courts in Delhi. One for domestic violence from wife, second for dowry, 3rd for divorce and 4th for trespassing all involving the same couple but in 3 different courts in Delhi. WHY? I want to ask, why can't related cases be consolidated in one case or at-least transferred to a single case to make matters simple. After all, if they are with the same parties they must be related and can be heard together in sequence. Why clog 3 different courts for related cases.

6. Frivolous Cases should attract severe penalty: It is not uncommon for vested interest to do court cases against celebrities, movies, books, and rival politicians. Sue all you want but if your case is found to be of malicious intent or frivolous then the court should impose a heavy penalty to deter such cases in the future. The courts are a system to impart justice not to settle scores and get your 15 minutes of fame.

7. Inter-department Court Cases: India must be the only country where one department of government sues another department, one state sues another state. Not very long ago SEBI and IRDA ( Securities and Exchange Board of India and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) two regulators from the government of India were involved in a fierce battle over there jurisdiction. WHY? I want to ask, these are not rival corporations but government bodies, why do they need to go to court to settle matters. Why can't they solve matters by talking and negotiations? I think all such interdepartmental cases should be settled at an out of court manner without clogging the bandwidth of the courts.

I think these 7 steps can really help in unclogging our court system and help common man get speedy justice. Once the people, bureaucrats, and politicians of this country will know that courts will quickly take a decision on their cases other malaise from our public like like corruption, bribery, vote bank policies, the crime against women and minorities will automatically start coming down. As we know only our courts have been able to bring the mightiest of politicians behind the bar, just imagine if we also free their bandwidth and speed up the system how much more efficiently our courts will work. What do you say? Please feel free to give your suggestions besides the 7 points I have mentioned to speed up our court system.

1 comment:

  1. nice manifesto
    following ur blog
    i hope u folow back if u like