Government banking on judicial reforms to deliver swift justice
Geetanjali Minhas | January 25, 2011
Union minister for law and justice Veerappa Moily has said that delivery of justice in all cases will not exceed three years, once key reforms planned by the government are instituted in the judicial system.
“Unless you clean the political system you cannot clean public life and electoral reforms should be the voice of the country. Only systems and not discretion will take the country forward” Moily said at the National Convention on Judicial Reforms held in Mumbai last week.
“Like food and water, justice is also a fundamental right,” he added.
Delivering the inaugural address, former chief justice of India, M N Venkatachaliah pointed out that to deliver justice in time major changes are needed in the present judicial system.
“The crucial system must have assembly line. It cannot be run the way it is run” warned Venkatachaliah.
Electoral reforms activist Jagdeep Chhokar, also present, raised the issue of the need for reforms in the bar association as well.
RTI activist and Magsaysay winner Arvind Kejriwal suggested that the three anti-corruption departments of the country should work under a single umbrella and added that the vigilance dept, centre for vigilance commission and CBI should work hand in hand and with complete independent authority investigating the complaint received directly and must have the power to prosecute the guilty.
Justice Suresh Hosbet, an activist for judicial reforms was critical of the board system where matter appears on board but is seldom heard, penalising litigants with both time loss and added expenses.He further said that there is a need to rationalize and reorganize the division benches so that more judges would be able to function for speedy justice.
In the absence of transparency in the appointment of judges, senior supreme court advocate Prashant Bhushan suggested setting up of Judicial Appointments Commission and publishing of short-listed names. Since the process of impeachment for the removal of judges is too cumbersome he suggested setting up of Judicial Accountability Commission and pointed that in India, 0.07% of GDP is spent on the judicial system whereas it is 4% in UK.
Shailesh Gandhi, information commissioner at central information commission mentioned that that in the USA the judges dispose off 3 times more cases than in India and added that the law should specify the time limit for police investigation.
“If the pendency of cases of RTI appeals increase in the information commission it will result in the death-knell of RTI Act” he pointed out.
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