Exclusive; Chief Justices resolve to address issues of vacancies, pendency of cases and infrastructural needs of judiciary [Read the Full Text]
The Chief Justices Conference was held on April 23-24 and the resolutions adopted during the conference has been published today in the Supreme Court web portal. The following are important resolutions adopted.
INFRASTRUCTURAL NEEDS OF STATE JUDICIARY
- identify the infrastructural needs of the State Judiciary by developing suitable five year and annual action plans for the future;
- ensure the completion of under construction projects pending for three or more years on a mission mode basis;
MORNING/EVENING/HOLIDAY COURTS RESTRUCTURING
- Appropriately consider the restructuring of the Scheme of morning, evening and holiday courts by utilizing the services of retired judicial officers as well;
VACANCIES IN HIGH COURTS
- Take proactive steps to initiate the process of appointment of Judges in their High Courts by forwarding their recommendations in respect of current vacancies and for vacancies anticipated over a period of the next six months.
- Keeping in view the large pendency of civil and criminal cases, especially criminal appeals where convicts are in jail and having due regard to the recommendation made by the 17th Law Commission of India in 2003, the Chief Justices will actively have regard to the provisions of Article 224A of the Constitution as a source for enhancing the strength of Judges to deal with the backlog of cases for a period of two years or the age of sixty five years, whichever is later until a five plus zero pendency is achieved.
PENDENCY OF CASES
- the disposal of cases pending for over ten years in relation to under-trials shall be taken up on a mission-mode basis
- top priority shall be assigned to cases pending for over three years
- High Courts shall evolve a mechanism for regular and periodic identification of under-trial prisoners completing more than half of their maximum possible sentences;
- data available on the National Judicial Data Grid shall be utilized to monitor the cases of under-trials, for generating monthly reports and to progressively reduce the pendency of oldest cases;
- State Governments should be proactively prevailed upon to fill up vacancies in the sanctioned strength of jail staff;
- State Governments shall ensure proper connectivity by video conferencing between courts and jails.
DIGITIZATION AND LEGAL EDUCATION
- Chief Justices should actively take up projects for scanning and digitization of case files in the High Courts and the District Judiciary
- In States where there is no National Law University, the High Courts should actively take up the setting up of such a law school with the State Governments;
- In other States, efforts be made to strengthen and support the existing law schools to enhance the quality of legal education.
Read the full text of the resolution here.