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Inefficiency, out of court

Poor governance is adding to judiciary's woes

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BS Opinion | Indian Judiciary | Justice N V Ramana

Business Standard Editorial Comment  |  Mumbai 

The large number of vacancies in the appointment of judges is a well-known systemic weakness of the Indian judicial system. Less acknowledged is the leading contributory role that governments at the Centre and states play in compounding the problem. That was the blunt analysis by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana addressing the joint conference of the chief ministers and chief justices of the high courts at New Delhi last week. In his forthright address in the presence of the prime minister, who had inaugurated the conference, Justice Ramana pointed out that the government accounts for half the pending cases in court. He added the striking point that if all wings of the government did their job properly, not only would fewer cases come to court but the judiciary would be spared the unwilling role of having to make policy pronouncements on a range of issues, frequently crossing the Lakshman rekha separating the powers of the legislature, executive and judiciary. Justice Ramana specifically pointed to the fact that the burgeoning dockets of land and revenue disputes are symptomatic of the fact that rural and urban bureaucracies are not functioning optimally. But he also pointed to the absurdity of fights between government departments, or between state-owned companies and the government ending up in court.

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First Published: Mon, May 02 2022. 22:31 IST
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