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Bangalore has higest court cases filed and pending !

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We all know about the state of judiciary and its access to our vulnerable sections. In hindsight we all agree that Indian judicial system needs radical reforms in terms delivering the justice in reasonable time period. This is not to put down our judicial system but we all need to be aware of the potential shortcoming the judicial delivery system has. The problem just doesn't start and stop at the court premises but starting from filing of the case, investigation, prosecution and defense mechanisms that are in place, lacks the teeth and power to cater to the vast majority of the population.

The Hindu reports that Bangalore has the dubious distinction of being having the highest number of court cases that are pending. Interestingly, it also accounts for highest number of cases filed in the courts.

"...Bangalore has earned the dubious distinction of not only recording the highest number of cases to be filed annually in court, but also having the highest number of pending cases for any city in the State. Of the 13,13,195 cases pending in different courts in Karnataka, courts in Bangalore city alone account for 4,87,510 cases..."

Read here for the more statistical data - http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/24/stories/2008112455770100.htm

I would like initiate a discussion here to see if there are any solution that can mitigate this huge backlog of court cases. Lets focus our discussion on how can we help our judicial system to remove these huge backlogs and also moving forward reduce the time frame for deciding court cases.

  1. Can digitization of court proceedings, recordings, evidence filing, scheduling etc help backlog reduction?
  2. Would IT and systems help courts in saving time in issuance of warrants, subpoenas etc.
  3. Would sharing of data between police department and other govt agencies would make things easier and cut the time for govt prosecution?
  4. Has computerization reached every nook and corner of our judicial system at least in Karnataka? If yes has that made any difference?

Lets all remember that justice delayed is justice denied.

Comments

Naveen's picture

"Privatization of Courts"

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Syed,

This article quotes numbers only within the state - & since bangalore is the largest city, it will naturally have the largest numbers.

I think it may be worthwhile if we cud get some nos. for other large cities, like delhi. chennai, mumbai, Kolkata or hyderabad (if they are readily available). Such a comparison would be more appropriate.

However, the nos seem very large indeed - nearly 5 lakhs !!

Yr suggestions noted. Another way the courts can be unloaded is by having licensed private mediation centers, such as those in USA, where the grieving parties can take their complaints to, instead of directly to courts, & those that can be powered to issue summons. If they are still unhappy, they cud then use the courts - & courts can have limitations on entry of cases - they cud make a law that petty grievences must first be referred for mediation & only if they still wish to contest, can it be accepted by the courts.

Sr Lawyers & Judges can then "practice" commercially in the same way as doctors. This will improve their lot & encourage more to scramble to study law & the process will see more competition & become more evolved, benefitting citizens, akin to privatization. More mediation centres will come up & the backlog in courts will reduce substantially over a period.

kbsyed61's picture

This needs a closer look !

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Naveen,

You are right. This article only talks about Karnataka and Bangalore.

My intent here is not to paint any picture out of data comparison with other cities. Just from numbers without being compared with other cities also sounds too huge and too many. The huge backlog and the average time taken for a decision in the cases needs a closer look. Closer look to understand the root cause for such heavy numbers.

I am sure this would take a PG thesis to determine the reasons, causes and a possible solution. My take is, there is a huge gap between judicial resource availability and resources need. The resources ranges from Judicial officers, judges, judicial administration, # of courts to its supporting infrastructure. I am not sure about any statutory limits on increasing the judicial manpower and judicial courts.

I am looking forward to some insights from people who are connected with legal fraternity.

murali772's picture

deserves to go into 'mission mode'

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The idea of mediation has got started in Karnataka (Check:

http://praja.in/blog/murali772/2008/01/18/mediation-success-story-judicial-reform).

But, apparently, there's a long way to go.

It's indeed a paradox that even long after modern law schools have got established in the country, the first of them being in our own city (NLSIU), no worthwhile efforts have gone into reforming the judicuial processes in order to speed up justice delivery, resulting to a thriving mafia raaj. If you say that the pendency levels at the High Court is bad, those at the lower court levels are pathetic. I wonder why this has not got included as a 'mission mode' project. The minimum the government needs to do is to provide proper facilities at the courts (Check:

http://praja.in/blog/murali772/2008/01/24/mediation-required)

I had intended setting up a meeting with the CJ. I shall persue that once again.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Mediation Centers - Underway ?

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Mr.Murali,

So, the move has already been there. Any way we could influence LokAyukta to push this faster ?

Went through yr other link - & I agree, the condition of court houses is pathetic & unfriendly to old people & the disabled.

murali772's picture

a long overdue measure

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The subordinate judiciary in Maharashtra as well as the Bombay High Court is all set to join the ranks of several High Courts in the country in adopting a more “professional” way of functioning as it is soon going to employ 45 MBA graduates as ‘court managers’ in the high court as well as district courts.

As the name suggests, these qualified and skilled management graduates, by applying their management principles and knowledge, will be focusing towards enhancing court’s efficiency besides suggesting ways to reduce the mounting backlog of cases in courts.

The idea of hiring management graduates to improve the functioning of judiciary was mooted by the 13th Finance Commission in its report submitted in 2009.

- - - Aimed at lessening the administrative workload of judges, these managers will give the judicial officers much-required time to focus on judicial work. The primary task of these managers, according to the advertisement, shall be to laying down performance standards (including on parameters like efficiency, timeliness, quality of court performance, infrastructure etc.). They will also be responsible for making an updating Court Development Plan (CDP).

For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here.

"Justice delayed is justice denied" - Even with everyone, connected with the legal system, repeating this ad nauseum, very littlre has been done so far to speed up things. In such a scenario, this bit of news indeed comes as a breath of fresh air, though one wonders why it took so long to chart out this obvious route to evolving solutions. Whatever, better late than never.

I wonder which are the other states that have already adopted this "professional" way of functioning. It doesn't yet seem evident in the way the lower courts in Karnataka are functioning.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

letter mailed to Minister for Law, GoK

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Representation mailed to Mr R Suresh Kumar, Minister for Law, GoK; same may be accessed here. Original will be posted tomorrow.

Muralidhar Rao

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