Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts starts tomorrow, pendency in courts and development of infrastructure to be key issues

Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts starts tomorrow, pendency in courts and development of infrastructure to be key issues

As the number of pending cases before Indian courts near the three crore mark, the Chief Ministers of all the states and the Chief Justices of all the High Courts will meet for three days, starting tomorrow, in Delhi to debate critical issues facing the justice delivery system in India.

Pendency before courts, development of infrastructure and expeditious trials are the critical issues that may be discussed in the conference. The conference will be presided by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu with Prime Minister Modi addressing the same on Sunday. The Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda will also speak at the event.

The government has also given out a press release in relation to the conference, which reads, “A comprehensive agenda has been drawn up for the Conference. With 2.64 crore undecided cases in the subordinate courts and 42 lakh cases in the High Courts, expeditious disposal of cases is the key issue to be discussed. To address this issue, the agenda includes discussion on development of infrastructure, undertaking judicial reforms, ICT enablement of courts and specific steps required for reduction of arrears and ensuring speedy trial.”

The conference will also focus on ease of doing business in India, for which justice delivery is an important aspect. The press release states, “The Government is committed to improve the ease of doing business in India. The role of the justice system in this regard will be discussed in the Conference. The 14th Finance Commission has endorsed a number of activities aimed at improving the justice delivery system at an estimated cost of Rs. 9749 crore over the next 5 years and has urged States Governments to undertake these activities from additional devolution of funds to States. The Chief Ministers of States and the Chief Justices of the High Courts will discuss modalities of funding these important initiatives.”

Highlighting the role of Central government and the agenda of the conference, the release also states, “The Central Government has undertaken many initiatives to improve the justice delivery system. Rs. 3131 crore has been released to States for development of infrastructure since 2011 and another Rs. 1947 crore was released under the 13th Finance Commission for ADR Centres, Judicial Academies, LokAdalats, Training etc. The Conference is likely to discuss how to leverage this investment for improving justice delivery. The first Phase of the e-Court Mission Mode Project has just concluded with an investment of about Rs. 600 crore, under which case data of 13672 courts is now online. The National Judicial Data Grid presently covering courts under the jurisdiction of 21 out of 24 High Courts is available to the judiciary for improving case and court management and judicial performance.”

 It is expected that the conference will come up with definite outcomes in the form of resolutions for implementation by the judiciary and the Central & State governments.

You may read more of our coverage on number of pending cases before the judiciary, here.