Against the backdrop of India losing an arbitration case against an Australian company over delayed judicial decisions, Law Minister Salman Khurshid today emphasised on the need to improve the "structure" of the courts.
"White Industries' arbitration against Coal India went against us. I don't believe our system had in any deliberate, conscious way tried to give less than the equal treatment that all litigants deserve in our country. But the structure of our courts delayed conclusive decision...," he said.
He said the "structure" was not created for White Industries and that was something "we already have in place".
"The time taken by the Supreme Court at times because of disagreement between benches...These are facts of life in our system and I do believe we need to work on improving the structure..." he said.
Addressing an Assocham seminar on Law and Economics here, he said, factoring in such issues in decision making is a "major problem" today.
Khurshid said while the government was discussing various options, "perhaps the courts can find a way for us. Courts can find some manner in which international covenants (treaties) that we sign and which are binding on us could find the way into interpretation of laws”.
He said on issues of environment and human rights, the Supreme Court has on several occasions interpreted laws.
"The SC has read covenants in even where India has not taken any further steps to make them part of the municipal laws by amending legislation. SC has moved a step beyond, and incorporate that into the law of the land by way of judicial pronouncements," he said.