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Induction of National Court Management Authority in Indian Judicial System : Need of the Hour – Part -2

Recommendation

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.

1

MODEL 1 – National Court Management Authority

 

 

2

MODEL  2- National Court Management Authority

 

 3

Appointment of Court Manager under National Court Management Authority

 

 

 4

Functions of the National Court Management Authority (NCMA)

  1. Monitoring the working of Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies in India. It is more like of administrative, management part of the judicial system.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. NCMA will mainly coordinate with Regional Case Management Authorities (RCMAs) and Court Managers of the Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies.
    1. RCMA will mainly co-ordinate with Court Managers appointed in High Courts, Districts Courts and Regional Level Quasi-Judicial Bodies
    2. Conduct training and development programme for Court Managers.

Composition of the National Court Management Authority (NCMA)

  1. 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.
    1. At the Regional Court Management Authority (RCMA) there will be a Chairperson and not less than two and not more than four members.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. The Chairperson and other Members shall be whole time Members.
    5. 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-

  1. The Retired Judge of Supreme Court of India……………. …..…Chairperson
  2. The Secretary in the Ministry of Law & Justice………..…………….Member
  3. The Secretary of Information & Broadcasting……..….…………….. Member
  4. 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

 Guidelines of 13th Finance Commission for Improvement in Justice Delivery ((No. F 32(30) FCD/2010, September 20, 2010).(Grant of Rs. 300 crore for appointment of Court Managers)

 Suggested functions, Responsibilities & Qualifications of Court Managers :-

      1. Policies and Standards

  1. 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).
  2. 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.

      2.  Planning

  1. 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).
  2. Monitor the implementation of the CDP and report to superior authorities on progress.

      3.  Information and Statistics

  1. 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.
  2. Ensure that reports on statistics are duly completed and provided as required.

      4.   Court Management

  1. 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
  2. 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

  1. 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

  1. Ensure that the court meets standard established by the High Court on access to justice, legal aid and user friendliness.

         7.     Quality Management

  1. Ensure that the court meets quality of adjudication standards established by the High Court.

         8.     Human Resource Management

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. Ensure that the IT system of the court complies with standard established by the High Court and are fully functional.
  2. 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.

         11.   Qualification

Court Managers may have the following minimum qualifications:

  1. A degree or advanced diploma in general management;
  2. 5 years’ experience/training in system and process management;
  3. 5 years’ experience/training in IT system management, HR management, financial system management;
  4. Excellent people skill;
  5. Excellent communication skill;
  6. Excellent computer application skill.

Some recent Advertisements for the Post of Court Managers

           1.       High Court of Madras

  1. Total no of Post 33

 

           2.       High Court of Allahabad

  1. Total no of Post 75

           3.       High Court of Mumbai

  1. Total no of Post 45, General Manager(4), Senior Court Manager(6), Court Manager(35)

           4.       High Court of Rajasthan

  1. Total no Post 38, Court Manager HC (4), Court Manager District Courts (34)         

 

           5.       High Court of Madhya Pradesh

  1. Total no Post 54

           6.       High Court of Ranchi

 

 

           7.      High Court of Punjab and Haryana

  1. Total no of Post 34, Subordinate Courts of Haryana (18), Subordinate Courts of Punjab (16) 

 

           8.       High Court of Gujarat

  1. Total no of Post 27, High Court of Gujarat (2), Subordinate Courts of Gujarat (25)

Following is the allocation of Grants for Appointment of Court Managers (in Cr)

Sr. No.

State

No of Sanctioned Courts

No of Judicial Districts

Court Managers

1

Andhra Pradesh

926

23

12.50

2

Arunachal Pradesh

339

0

0.00

3

Assam

289

21

11.41

4

Bihar

1367

30

16.30

5

Chhatisgarh

348

16

8.70

6

Goa

49

2

1.09

7

Gujarat

1028

26

14.13

8

Haryana

393

18

9.78

9

Himachal Pradesh

126

11

5.98

10

Jammu & Kashmir

208

22

11.96

11

Jharkhand

527

22

11.96

12

Karnataka

872

29

15.76

13

Kerala

430

14

7.61

14

Madhya Pradesh

1307

49

26.63

15

Maharashtra

1898

49

26.63

16

Manipur

34

2

1.09

17

Meghalaya

10

1

0.54

18

Mizoram

40

2

1.09

19

Nagaland

27

0

0.00

20

Orissa

531

30

16.30

21

Punjab

346

14

7.61

22

Rajasthan

825

34

18.48

23

Sikkim

13

2

1.09

24

Tamil Nadu

788

30

16.30

25

Tripura

80

3

1.63

26

Uttar Pradesh

2174

70

38.04

27

Uttarakhand

273

13

7.07

28

West Bengal

698

19

10.33

Total

15946

552

300

 

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

PP PHOTO Kalpesh Ph.D.Kalpesh Kumar L Gupta is an Academic Associate at Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad.

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  • Vinod Kumar Bhaskar says:

    1- Why Central Government, State Government, Supreme Court & High Courts are not serious to regularize the services of Court Managers who are being appointed on contract basis ?
    2- Why it is expected from the Court Managers (who are appointed on contract basis ) that they could make any remarkable positive change in age old traditional practice of Court System.
    3- Why the Contract based Court Managers have not be given any authority to deal any file.
    Why they have not been given any cadre , official Vehicle, Telephone and the most important thing is job security.
    All the files should go through Court Managers but its not happening why?
    Why Clerk of Court / Administrative Officers of District Courts are being considered superior then Court Managers?

  • Ravi Ranjan says:

    Dear Mr. Kalpesh,

    Your models are quite good and seems to be effective if implemented. I am working as a Court Manager in the District Court of Ranchi, Jharkhand since last 2.5 years and the work assigned to the Court Managers here is totally clerical – mainly, collecting and compiling of the monthly and other periodical statements and reports that are being required by either High Court or Supreme Court. No suggestions for improvement or up gradation has been entertained till now and to I have to use my own laptop and internet to complete the work done. I don’t find people here – clerks or judges ready to accept this change and lately irony is that all the court managers have not received their remuneration for the last 4 months to make the things worse.

  • Sangala anuradha says:

    Sir, your article is very useful not only junior advocates but also general public. thank you for the same

  • jayavel says:

    I would say there shall be proceedings for restoration of proceedings for restoration of exparte set aside proceedings, further once defective case papers furnished the court should reject it as if no paper is filed, further through out this country same format must adopted in all courts a central authority to frame common rules of practise and forms be constituted, rules committee of hcs to be disbanded, central rukes committee should maned from IT and other fields. A judicial authority like bench of HC or SC be separately designated to deal with abuse of laws at lower courts an annual edition of book on abuse of shall be published to make it authentic and violations there will lead to loss of imunity of judge under judges imunity act and section 197 or the provisions for prior sanctions for prosecitions

  • jayavel says:

    My comment on this aspect is that section 9 of cpc should amended to create types of suits to be tried by each cout with residual jurisdiction on hc. The hc may be empowered to redisignate each type of suit. Further section 5 of limitations act should be worded more stringently by stating once an adverse order is published in concerned website of court no petition to set aside the exparted order , further order 8 and 151 of cpc be amended to grant any first decree or preliminary decree for performance obligations as being disclosed in admitted case or at least
    defence put by the defendant to the plaintiff on the basis of averment . Order 38 be amended to mandating the court to defendant to secure the performance any obligations by the plaintiff or defendant , there shall be no paper work for revision proceedings the impunged order should itself contain space revsional grounds all the file shall be made in pdf available to highers for immediate action

  • Kalpeshkumar L Gupta says:

    Dear Mr. Kolla,

    First of all thank you very much !

    I strongly agree with you that strength of judges to be increased. Most importantly vacant sits to be filled first. For example in Allahabad HC 1/3 of sits are vacant.

    Regards

    K L Gupta

  • Indra Pratap Duarah says:

    Sir,
    Your article (both Part 1 & 2) were very informative and an eye opener, not only for the lawman but also for every citizen of India. The advertisements for court managers are placed attractively by the concerned HCs. But I doubt they will get quality manpower for such a short period of time (up to March 2015). Had they mentioned scope of extension, the scenario would have been better. What is your view?

    • Kalpeshkumar L Gupta says:

      Dear Mr. Indra Pratap,

      First of all thank you very much !

      People are applying in large number for the post of court managers as salary is very attractive e.g. in Gujarat 7 to 12 lakh pa depending upon post. So HC will easily get the manpower. They will extend this post or not only God knows.

      Regards

      K L Gupta

  • Kolla Gangadhar says:

    I appreciate You Mr. Kalpesh Kumar Gupta for your excellent Article to put Indian Judiciary under scanner of National court Management Authority. Shri. Ram Jetmalani Ji was Law Minister of India he had brought amendments to Civil Procedure Code for time frame Trial courts to file Written Statement, that has not been strictly implemented by civil courts and Supreme Court Judgements on that aspect have relaxed time limit to file Written statement courts have been empowered to extend time. Civil cases are concern once summons received by the Defendant it must be given 90 days to file Written Statements along with documents, if documents are not in his custody time may be granted filing documents that is before frame of issues. Once issued are framed the Plaintiff should file his Chief Examination affidavit within 20 to 25 days. Once chief examination is completed, documents are marked and for cross examination of P.W.1 must be completed 15 to 20 days. Again Defendant chief examination Affidavit should be filed within 15 to 20 days , marking of documents and cross examination of Defendant must be completed 15 to 20 days so that other witness like wise depending the discretion of the Judge. Once Evidence of both sides is closed for Arguments 15 to 20 time must be granted and both side counsels must argue on the same day no adjournments will be granted. If both side counsels want to file written arguments they can file before arguments are at the time of arguments at a time. So that Judge will Pronounce Judgement at the earliest as possible. In criminal cases Trial courts once charge sheet is filed Accused will be examined whether he is pleading guilty or not, if does not plead guilty, case will be posted for Trial and Judges of Sessions court fix schedule to examine Prosecution witness, after that 313 examination and defense witness if any will be examined. After completion of evidence of both sides the Judge will post for arguments both the counsels must argue case same day, if they want to file written arguments that must be filed at the time of arguments. Judge will pronounce his Judgement with in a reasonable time. High Courts Writ Petition litigation is very high in India, once W.P. is filed it will come admission, it may be admitted, interim orders may be passed or may be dismissed depending on merits of the case and once W.P. is admitted, interim orders passed , notice will be served to Respondents, they must be directed to file counter Affidavit within 30 to 40 days, so that on interim order arguments will be heard in the opinion of Justice W.P. can be disposed of he will do so and speedy justice will be done. Writ Appeal once notice is served Respondent must must be given time 30 to 40 days and final arguments must be heard on the same day of both side Advocates, Judgement will be passed. In the supreme Court S.L.P. is filed leave will be granted interim orders will be passed notice will be served to Respondents so that time may be granted file be counter to vacate interim orders 30 to 40 days on the same day both side Advocates must argue case in the opinion of Justices case may be disposed of finally or interim order continue or vacated and case will be posted for final hearing as per seniority years wise case number wise cases will be listed for final hearing. Statistical figures of cases pending in the Supreme Court Year wise filed must be segregated filed under Article 32, 131 139-A of the Constitution of India, Civil Writ Petitions, Criminal Writ Petitions , Civil Appeals, Criminal Appeals etc. so that year wise, case number seniority wise must be listed for final hearing, similar batch cases must be posted all together same day for final hearing. Statistical figures of total cases pending in the Supreme Court must be calculated and total number of judges at present and how many months/years it will take to dispose of pending cases must be calculated. Total number of Justices strength must be increased proportionate to the cases pending cases to dispose of within 6 to 10 months, if every year cases filed increased Justices strength must be increased, filing of cases decreases Justices strength must be decreased so that in the supreme court 10 to 12 months case will be disposed of. Same in the case of High Courts. Trial courts call work listing cases every day for various purposes must be avoided as much as possible and filing of vakalt, written statement, chief examination Affidavit must be entrusted to Ministerial staff of senior court Superintendent. Judge must take up only cross examination, interim orders, vacate interim orders, argument cases so that Trial court cases can be disposed of 132 to 14 months. Huge Pending of cases in India because of heavy filing of cases in all courts from Trial Courts, High Courts and Supreme Courts and Judges strength is very less proportionate to the cases pending in all court so the Chief Justice of India & the Government must appoint judges in all courts on war footing so that speedy justice will be rendered as guaranteed by the Article 21 of the Constitution of India. I Kolla Gangadhar, Advocate, The President, DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS FORUM,INDIA.

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