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Way out of the impasse of 'law's delay'

The massive backlog in courts can be reduced not by just increasing the number of judges, but at the same time also reducing the intake and increasing disposal of cases

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Courts

Sukumar Mukhopadhyay 



Sukumar Mukhopadhyay

Law’s delay is a legendary expression made well known by Hamlet. Efforts are being made in all ages to remedy this situation, without much success. Recently in India, this problem has been highlighted when the chief justice of India made reference to this judicial delay after a stark example of instant justice in a case where four convicts were shot down in an apparent encounter. I am writing not about any particular instance but about how it should be everybody's concern to find a way out of the impasse created by a very long pendency and shortage of judges. Economic analysts have all along been emphasising on the need for judicial speed, not just for justice but to ensure enforcement of contracts, without which a market system cannot flourish. Figures quoted in newspapers estimated a staggering number of vacancies at all stages. On average the vacancy ratio is about 25 per cent to 33 per cent. Figures are changing and not accurate but the magnitude of the problem can be understood from here.

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First Published: Sun, January 05 2020. 16:20 IST

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