22 July 2022 1:13 PM GMT
The Union Minister for Law & Justice, Kiren Rijiju, has informed the Lok Sabha that there is no plan to bring in a federal judiciary system.In response to question in this regard, the Ministry said that the Constitution provides for a single, integrated system of Courts to administer both Union and State law adopting the option of a federal system of governance and existence of Central...
The Union Minister for Law & Justice, Kiren Rijiju, has informed the Lok Sabha that there is no plan to bring in a federal judiciary system.
In response to question in this regard, the Ministry said that the Constitution provides for a single, integrated system of Courts to administer both Union and State law adopting the option of a federal system of governance and existence of Central Acts in their respective spheres. India's Judiciary is integrated, unlike some countries' federal systems.
For instance, the US follows Federal Judiciary System where states have their own Supreme Courts. However, the US Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to deal with issues pertaining to Federal Laws.
The Ministry added that the Constitutional Scheme provides for the separation of powers between the three organs of the Government - the executive, legislature, and Judiciary, each possessing distinct areas of functioning. The Government's role is limited to facilitating the working of the Judiciary only. As far as independence and autonomy of the Judiciary are concerned, the same has been enshrined within the Constitution of India.
On Policy For Eliminating Corruption in Judiciary
On the policy for eliminating corruption in Judiciary, the Union Minister responded that the center has no power in this regard. It mentioned that the Judiciary must address this issue through in-house procedures as it is an independent organ under the Indian Constitution.
"Accountability in higher judiciary is maintained through "in-house procedure" adopted by the Supreme Court in Full Court meeting held on 7th May 1997. As per the "in-house procedure," Chief Justice of India is competent to receive complaints against the conduct of the Judges of the Supreme Court and the Chief Justices of the High Courts. Similarly, the Chief Justices of the High Courts are competent to receive complaints against the conduct of High Court Judges," the written reply stated. It also added that as per Article 235 of the Constitution of India, the control over District Courts and Courts subordinate to that vests in the High Court.
It said that the complaints and representations regarding allegations of corruption received are dealt with by the Chief Justice of India or by the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court, as the case may be, for appropriate action. Similarly, complaints/representations against a member of Subordinate Judiciary received are forwarded to the Registrar General of the concerned High Court for appropriate action.
On Pendency in High Courts & District Courts
The Centre informed the Lok Sabha that over 13 lakh cases have been pending for over ten years across High Courts in the country. This number goes up to 35 lakh when the district judiciary is also considered. Over 10,000 cases in the Supreme Court have been pending for over ten years.
It mentioned that various ministries and departments like the Railways and Department of Revenue, involved in a high number of litigations, have been taking several measures to reduce the number of Court cases. For instance, the Ministry of Railways has issued instructions for effective monitoring of Court cases at all levels. Zonal Railways and Production Units have been asked to take effective steps to reduce the number of cases in which the Government is a party and reduce the burden of courts, expedite the finalization of all the cases in all courts at the earliest, and cut down the expenditure in contesting court cases.
"For achieving this, emphasis has been laid on effective monitoring of cases by having regular meetings with empanelled advocates, for briefing and necessary directions to be given at the highest level, besides ensuring timely submission of replies, Counter replies and necessary documents to the advocates," the reply stated.
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