6 Dec 2022 3:29 PM GMT
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said judicial infrastructure in the country is not in "a very appreciable condition" and that the pendency of cases is a great concern."I feel that the pendency in the high courts and the Supreme Court will come down but the real challenge is in the lower court and the infrastructure in the lower court is the real challenge for me and that is...
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said judicial infrastructure in the country is not in "a very appreciable condition" and that the pendency of cases is a great concern.
"I feel that the pendency in the high courts and the Supreme Court will come down but the real challenge is in the lower court and the infrastructure in the lower court is the real challenge for me and that is the responsibility of the central government and state governments together," Rijiju said at the inauguration function of Delhi High Court's S Block building.
Stating that everyone knows that judicial infrastructure in the country is "not in a very appreciable condition", Rijiju said he has been told that even in Supreme Court, except for the Chief Justice's courtroom and maybe of some of the senior judges, the other judges' courtrooms are small compared to even some of the High Court courtrooms.
"We need to have the appropriate room for our judges. Now we have a defined role, the central Government cannot do much for the High Court infrastructure. As per the roles defined, it is a state government who has to bear the expenditure for the hard infrastructure. But having said that, we will always be there as a team," he said.
Commenting on digitisation of judicial system, Rijiju said that in the very near future the Indian Judiciary will go paperless and that the lawyers should be prepared for that.
"When we talk about judicial, which is totally digital, then it will have a huge impact on the justice delivery mechanism itself. And the process itself takes so much of time. I try to analyse where is the bottleneck ... When we take the numbers, now it's inching towards five crore pendency. It's a matter of great concern. And I have to keep replying in the parliament and elsewhere. It's very difficult for me to really answer how to ensure that this figure of five crore ... It's about to reach five crore. At the present rate, maybe it will take another couple of months to reach the five crore figure, which doesn't sound nice".
Rijiju said he has visited the courts across the country. "I'm very impressed, but some of the courts are very pathetic. I feel ashamed," he added.
Recalling his recent visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Rijiju said: "Last month I was in Pahalgam in Kashmir, a beautiful Court is under construction. well on time, so I appreciated the Chief Justice, the contractors, the officers, I told the district judge that you are lucky that you will be sitting in this room overviewing the beautiful river flowing there, pristine forest and there is a beautiful courtroom."
He said the judiciary needs to be made "interesting" and more people friendly.
"People should be able to come. There should be waiting rooms. There should be some benches. Court complex should be a place where one feels one should feel at ease. These are certain things I really look at from the common man's angle that we need to make the Indian judiciary attractive, the buildings beautiful, and make all the facilities available for the honourable judges and the learned advocates," Rijiju said.
Rijiju said Delhi being the national capital of India cannot afford to have second class judicial infrastructure.
Recalling his visit to Tis Hazari court, Rijju said, "Delhi itself, I think, has the highest numbers of lawyers, if you see in terms of ratio with the population. When I went to Tis Hazari Court last year. I thought I was addressing the public really, this so many lawyers, 1000s and 1000s. So definitely, I can understand the constraints of this space. But with the support of everyone, with the state government and the central government, we can definitely meet at least half of the expectations."