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Letter to BS: Judicial system needs procedural overhaul, attitudinal change

It is high time the higher judiciary admits that the main cause is not simply the vacancies of judges

Business Standard 

CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde
CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde

This refers to “CJI: Justice loses its character when it becomes revenge” (December 8) which quotes the Chief Justice of India S A Bobde as saying that there cannot be instant justice. Justice Bobde made that comment in the backdrop of the rape case in Telengana and subsequent killing of the alleged rapists. He is absolutely right. The CJI also appropriately mentioned long delays in dispensing justice. What he did not mention is how bails are granted in even cases of violent rape and gang rape.

The example of the case in Unnao in UP is a case in view right now. I am of the view that the Supreme Court can give direction, may be administratively but surely judicially that where there is violence mixed with rape and in cases of gang rape, bail should not be given. And the general impression of people is that once the criminal case goes to courts, the case will drag on and rich people with a lot of cash can appoint top lawyers to delay justice and can even derail justice. Quick disposal of such cases must be achieved.

Generalising the issue of inordinate delay in courts, it is high time the higher judiciary admits that the main cause is not simply the vacancies of judges. I feel that increasing the number of judges is only half the solution. What is needed is a thorough procedural overhaul and attitudinal change in the judicial system. The conclusion is that the massive backlog in courts can be reduced not by a quantitative approach but a qualitative change in the approach on the part of all stakeholders.

Sukumar Mukhopadhyay

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First Published: Mon, December 09 2019. 22:17 IST