The projected statistics that pendency in Indian courts has reached 45 million cases, which is perceived as the inability of the Indian judiciary to cope with the caseload, is an "overstatement" and an "uncharitable analysis", said Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana on Saturday.
Delivering his keynote address at the India-Singapore Mediation Summit titled "Making Mediation mainstream: Reflections from India and Singapore", he said that people are confident that they will get relief and justice from the judiciary. "People know that when things go wrong, the judiciary will stand by them. It gives them the strength to pursue a dispute."
"The often-quoted statistic that pendency in Indian Courts has reached 45 million cases, which is perceived as the inability of the Indian judiciary to cope with the caseload is an overstatement and an uncharitable analysis," the CJI said.
Underscoring that conflicts are unavoidable in any society for various reasons, including political, economic, social, cultural and religious, he stated that there is a need to develop mechanisms for conflict resolution and referred to the Mahabharata, providing an example of an early attempt at mediation as a conflict resolution tool."Mediation is deeply embedded into the Indian ethos and was prevalent before the British adversarial system in India, various forms of mediation were being practised as a method of dispute resolution," he said.
He further admitted that the issue of judicial delays is a complex problem, not just in India.
He provided several factors that contribute to such a situation. "One of them is an Indian phenomenon called - 'luxurious litigation'. It is a specific type of litigation wherein parties with resources attempt to frustrate the judicial process and delay it by filing numerous proceedings across the judicial system. Undeniably, the prevailing pandemic has also contributed to our woes," the CJI said.
Earlier on Saturday, CJI Ramana launched the live streaming of Gujarat High Court proceedings and also released the Live Streaming Rules of the High Court.
During the event, he said that a judge should never be deterred from his duty to protect the right of one against the might of many and as a repository of people's faith, a judge cannot afford to lose objectivity.
The CJI said that he is keen to start live streaming in at least a few of the courts at the Supreme Court.He stressed the importance of live streaming of Court proceedings and said it is important for the dissemination of information as a part of Article 19 of the Constitution.
"We are keen to start live proceedings at least for some of the courts in the Supreme Court. We are working out the logistics and working on the consensus of the full court. With the aid of modern technologies, I am given to understand that we can introduce this live streaming feature in a cost-effective manner without imposing much of a burden on the exchequer," he said.
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