Induction of National Court Management Authority in Indian Judicial System : Need of the Hour – Part -2
As we saw about the lethargic justice delivery system in India, millions of cases are pending because of one and other reasons and millions of citizens are waiting for justice to be done. Looking at this scenario we have made small attempt to highlight lethargic condition of Indian Judiciary in two papers presented at the National and International Conferences. In the beginning of year 2012, paper on ‘Delayed Justice – Denial of Fundamental Rights’ at the Gujarat State Level Conference organized by Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, India, a model for setting up of a National Case Monitoring Authority which will deal with the monitoring of the cases since its institution to implementation of verdict of the case was proposed. Another paperwas on ‘Transparency in Governance is Ultimate Key to Reforms’ in the International Conference on Transparency and Accountability in Governance : Issues and Challenges organized by National Law University, Delhi in October 2010. Two enhanced models for setting up of a National Case Management Authority were proposed. This authority will deal with the proper case management in the judiciary.
Before coming to the conclusion for setting up of NCMA, some Right to Information (RTI) Applications in Supreme Court of India, High Court of Gujarat, Office of the Chief Minister, Gujarat, Department of Justice (Ministry of Law), Department of Expenditure (Ministry of Finance) were made to get an idea about the case monitoring and management system in Indian Judiciary.
Finally two improved models for establishment of National Court Management Authority (NCMA) duly assisted by Court Managers appointed by High Courts under the guidelines issued in September 2010 by 13th Finance Commission in the Indian Judiciary were proposed. Following are the models, functions, composition, and terms of NCMA.
MODEL 1 – National Court Management Authority
MODEL 2- National Court Management Authority
Appointment of Court Manager under National Court Management Authority
Functions of the National Court Management Authority (NCMA)
- Monitoring the working of Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies in India. It is more like of administrative, management part of the judicial system.
- Study overall aspects of Indian Judicial System and do comprehensive analysis of it. At the end submit report to Department Justice/Law Commission of India with certain recommendations.
- NCMA will play crucial role in monitoring of cases from its institution till its implementation. Consequently it will help to reduce backlog of cases lying in Indian Judiciary.
- NCMA will mainly coordinate with Regional Case Management Authorities (RCMAs) and Court Managers of the Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies.
- RCMA will mainly co-ordinate with Court Managers appointed in High Courts, Districts Courts and Regional Level Quasi-Judicial Bodies
- Conduct training and development programme for Court Managers.
Composition of the National Court Management Authority (NCMA)
- The Authority shall consist of a Chairperson and not less than six and not more than ten members to be appointed by the Central Government.
- At the Regional Court Management Authority (RCMA) there will be a Chairperson and not less than two and not more than four members.
- Chairperson must have sound knowledge of Management and Law more than 15 years of experience. He will be a person of ability, integrity and standing. Special knowledge in other domain area will be an added advantage.
- Every members shall be a person of ability, integrity and standing and who has special knowledge of and such professional experience of not less than 15 years in management, it, human resource, public affairs or any other qualification which in the opinion of the Central Government may be useful to the Authority.
- The Chairperson and other Members shall be whole time Members.
- Half of the member will be of age between 35-50 and rest of between 51-70 years. So that there will be a good combination of middle and old age members. In some cases maximum two members can be appointed as independent members between the age of 25-35 having innovative and feasible ideas in management.
Selection Committee for Chairperson and Member of Authority
The Chairperson and other members of the authority shall be appointed by the Central Government from a panel of names recommended by the Selection Committee consisting of-
- The Retired Judge of Supreme Court of India……………. …..…Chairperson
- The Secretary in the Ministry of Law & Justice………..…………….Member
- The Secretary of Information & Broadcasting……..….…………….. Member
- Two to Four experts of repute who have special knowledge of and professional experience in management, law, economics, human resource, informational technology, public affairs………………………..….Members
Term of office of Chairperson & other Members
- The Chairperson and every other member shall hold office as such for a term of 5 years from the date on which he enters upon his office and shall be eligible for re-appointment.
Provided that the Chairperson or other Members shall not hold office as such after he has attained the age of 70 years.
- In the event of occurrence of a vacancy in the office of the Chairperson by reason of his death, resignation and otherwise, the senior most member shall act as the Chairperson, until the date on which a new Chairperson appointed.
Following are the guidelines issued by 13th Finance Commission for Improvement in Justice Delivery in India.
Suggested functions, Responsibilities & Qualifications of Court Managers :-
1. Policies and Standards
- Based on applicable directives of superior courts, establish the performance standards applicable to the court (including on timeliness, efficiency, quality of court performance, infrastructure and human resources, access to justice as well as for system for court management and case management).
- Carry out an evaluation of the compliance of the court with such standards, identify deficiencies and deviations, identify steps required to achieve compliance, maintain such an evaluation on a current basis through annual update.
- In consultation with the stakeholder of a court (including Bar, ministerial staff, executive agencies supporting judicial functions such as prosecutor / police / process serving agencies and court users), prepare and update annually a 5 year court-wise Court Development Plan (CDP).
- Monitor the implementation of the CDP and report to superior authorities on progress.
3. Information and Statistics
- Ensure that statistics on all aspects of the functioning of the court are compiled and reported accurately and promptly in accordance with system established by the High Court.
- Ensure that reports on statistics are duly completed and provided as required.
4. Court Management
- Ensure that the processes and procedures of the court (including for filing, scheduling, conduct of adjudication, access to information and documents and grievance redressal) are fully compliant with the policies and standards established by the High Court for court management and they safeguard
- Quality, ensure efficiency and timeliness and minimize costs to litigants and to the state, and enhance access to justice. (Note : Standard System for court management should be developed at the High Court Level)
5. Case Management
- Ensure that case management system are fully compliant with policies and standards established by the High Court for Case Management and that they address the legitimate needs of each individual litigants in terms of quality, efficiency and timeliness, costs to litigants and to the state. (Note : Standard systems for case management should be developed at the High Court Level)
6. Responsiveness Management : Access to Justice, Legal Aid and UserFriendliness
- Ensure that the court meets standard established by the High Court on access to justice, legal aid and user friendliness.
7. Quality Management
- Ensure that the court meets quality of adjudication standards established by the High Court.
8. Human Resource Management
- Ensure that Human Resource Management of Ministerial Staff in the court comply with Human Resource Management standards established by the High Court.
9. Core System of Management
- Ensure that the core system of the court are established and functions effectively (documentation management, utilities management, infrastructure and facilities management, financial system management (audits, accounts, payments)
10. IT System Management
- Ensure that the IT system of the court complies with standard established by the High Court and are fully functional.
- Feed the proposed National Arrears Grid to be set up to monitor the disposal of cases in all the courts, as and when it is set up.
Court Managers may have the following minimum qualifications:
- A degree or advanced diploma in general management;
- 5 years’ experience/training in system and process management;
- 5 years’ experience/training in IT system management, HR management, financial system management;
- Excellent people skill;
- Excellent communication skill;
- Excellent computer application skill.
Some recent Advertisements for the Post of Court Managers
3. High Court of Mumbai
4. High Court of Rajasthan
5. High Court of Madhya Pradesh
6. High Court of Ranchi
7. High Court of Punjab and Haryana
8. High Court of Gujarat
Following is the allocation of Grants for Appointment of Court Managers (in Cr)
No of Sanctioned Courts
No of Judicial Districts
|Jammu & Kashmir|
NCMA – No threat to Independence of Judiciary
‘National Case Monitoring Authority will cause harm to independence of the judiciary’ – This was the comment which I received on my model proposed in paper Delayed Justice – Denial of Fundamental Rights’ but that is not the objective of that. Initially I was much concerned about the case monitoring but now I have felt that judiciary needs a sound court management which will help it in better justice delivery. National Court Management Authority will be a facilitator for Indian Judicial System rather than being a strict authority controlling judiciary.
You can read the first part of the article here