29 Jun 2023 8:19 AM GMT
On Wednesday, Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam along with Justice Subrata Talukdar of the Calcutta High Court presided over a ceremony for the inauguration of a new Court complex of the Additional District and Sessions Judge, 2nd Court, Baruipur, South 24 Parganas.In addressing the gathering, Chief Justice Sivagnanam noted the statistics regarding pendency of cases, which necessitated...
On Wednesday, Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam along with Justice Subrata Talukdar of the Calcutta High Court presided over a ceremony for the inauguration of a new Court complex of the Additional District and Sessions Judge, 2nd Court, Baruipur, South 24 Parganas.
In addressing the gathering, Chief Justice Sivagnanam noted the statistics regarding pendency of cases, which necessitated the construction of the new court complex in order for faster disposal. He observed:
"From the statistics given to me, before the Committee, [when] the Zonal Judge recommended for an additional court, the pendency statistics were taken into consideration. It was reported that there are about 2,500 civil cases and 1,700 sessions cases which were pending. This necessitated the construction of a new court complex. Further it says that out of the total cases, 1,032 are POCSO Act cases.”
Justice Sivagnanam noted that the Supreme Court itself has been emphasising on the importance of dealing with POCSO cases as a “top priority”. He further noted that a committee headed by Supreme Court Judge, Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah was constituted to prepare a training module for the sensitisation of those judges who deal with POCSO cases. He remarked:
“Time and again, Supreme Court has been exhorting us that State Judicial Academy should give training to judges at various levels, who handle such cases, to be sensitive. Very recently I received a communication from Supreme Court Judge, Justice Amanullah, who is heading a SC committee, where they are preparing a module for training of judges who handle such sensitive cases, with particular reference to trafficking of human beings. The SC has called for views from all the states and I have placed the matter before the WB Judicial Academy. That is the importance being given by the SC to such sensitive cases.”
Justice Sivagnanam directly addressed the various judges from the district judiciary who had joined virtually, and implored them to provide sensitive and utmost priority to deal with POCSO cases, as well as take requisite care in deciding POCSO cases, since procedure was the main “attack” point in appeal against orders of conviction.
He continued, “in your judgeship, when you come across such sensitive cases, kindly give top priority. POCSO cases require top priority. We have got vulnerable witness centres, please make use of it. In such sensitive matters, procedure is the main issue. Most appeal from orders of conviction are by attacking the judgement on the procedural aspect. Therefore, all judges should be sensitised on the issue. Kindly go through the judgements of the SC, as well as articles written by legal luminaries as well as Judges, keep yourself abreast with the latest legal position so there is no question on the procedural aspect.”
The Chief Justice emphasised that it is important to be aware that the construction of such an additional court complex, is primarily to benefit the litigants who approach the Court for resolution of their disputes, followed by the members of the Bar. He observed:
“By creating an additional court, it is to benefit the litigant, the public who is waiting for years for resolution of a matter…he gets benefited. Then who is the second beneficiary. It is the members of the bar. If an additional court helps matters move faster, then advocates get a chance to argue matters and the Court will be giving judgements which will increase their disposal and consequently they will also be benefited. This double advantage is there, and members of bar should extend fullest cooperation in disposing of matters, without requesting for unnecessary adjournment.”
In conclusion, Justice Sivagnaman referred to a recent practise undertaken by the Supreme Court, which was being followed by the High Courts, in order to ensure that no case is left pending for over 20 years, and asked all district judges to take effective steps in order to help reduce pendency through a hands-on effort.
He noted, “Pendency is calculated by taking into account the date of institution. So therefore, shelf life of matter from date of institution can’t be allowed to be more than 20 years, kindly pick up cases that are old cases. Kindly take out time to physically verify case files. Most of the time, there is a difference in the figures on pendency in the [Courts Internal Server] and the actual pendency. I request each of the judges to physically verify all case files in their court. If that is done, two Saturdays a month, you can easily do it. You will be able to segregate. That process will help in faster disposal, and reduce pendency. Thereby faith and confidence in judicial system will be increased.”