Judiciary Needs Reforms

image: pioneer

At any public forum, it has become an established practice that the government flags the pendency of cases in courts and underlines the need to fix a target of disposing cases in the fastest possible way.

In reply, judiciary highlights two issues of judicial vacancy and judicial infrastructure for rising pendency of cases. There will be goody-goody talks, and sometimes acrimonious too, but the problem of pendency remains as such.

image: toi

Recently there was an interesting comment by an important functionary of the judiciary that due to diminishing space for opposition in legislative bodies, laws are passed without much deliberations. Laws without deficiencies save the judiciary from the burden of litigations.

But he failed to mention that most of the existing laws are quite old ones, and why lower and upper courts and even different benches of the same court give different verdicts while all the judges have the same types of qualifications and experiences.

Undoubtedly addition of mediation, Lok Adalats, family courts etc has ensured fast disposal in certain pockets, but a lot of steps are needed to be taken in view of the fact that there are  more than 47 million cases pending across all the courts in the country, including 6 million in the 25 high courts and 171 K in the country’s highest court.

image: swarajya

Irrespective of what top authorities say, the muffled voices of people are now heard questioning the conduct of judges and courts as under:

1. You all come at 10 o’clock, take lunch between 2 to 3 o’clock and then return home after 5 o’clock. Why can’t you come at 8 in the morning and work till 8 in the night, as doctors, engineers, policemen, bankers, bureaucrats and people of the corporate world do?

2. All the courts are air-conditioned, then why colonial era’s summer vacation in June and winter vacation in December even now? Why can’t you work on Saturday and Sunday also to clear pendency? The working days of courts are less than 200 in a year, why can’t it be increased to 300?

3. Why do you waste your precious time in trivial issues like Jalikattu, Dahi Handi and hundreds of useless and motivated PILs? You will review and then again review cases of the traitors of the country, even by opening court in the midnight, but not the cases of law abiding citizens pending in courts for decades and generations. There are 3.5 lakh undertrial prisoners languishing in various jails.

4. What happens to your dictum, ‘let ten escape, but one innocent should not be punished’, when thousands and thousands of people suffer, just waiting for your judgement? Will it not be better if one innocent is punished, but 99 criminals are not allowed to go scot free by misinterpreting laws?

image: bs

Legislature makes laws, Executive carries out laws and Judiciary interprets laws if needed. As such judiciary becomes the last resort in many cases. Ideally all the three pillars of democracy must act within the respective domains, but not lose sight of the larger picture.

Lip service won’t dispense any justice. There is an urgent need to overhaul the present system to ensure free, fast and fair justice to everyone.

–Kaushal Kishore



  1. Thank you, Kaushal, for highlighting the problem that is also present in the UK.
    I have been waiting for my case in civil court to be heard for months and it will probably take
    several more.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great input for me, Joanna! I thought the malaise lies only with us. The fate of civil cases is even worse. Thank you, Joanna! I hope for early settlement in your case.


  2. Certainly a very big issue. 47 million cases pending and so many piling up each day. I recently read a news article where judges in some court took the initiative to start the proceedings earlier, 9am as opposed to 10. But they will still go home after 2pm.

    Very valid statement that you have been choosen to serve the nation and hold some of the most important posts and still think so slow and old fashion. Just work from 10 to 8 on weekdays and 10 to 2 on weekends. No body is going to complain and structure will start to hold up itself and cases will get cleared. Also there should be a proper rule regarding how many times a court is allowed to review the same case, as some people in the nation take too much advantage of this loophole of reviewing again and again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in agreement with you, Sanjeet. There are a few judges, who on their own fixed targets for themselves to finalise cases. But things will not improve with such isolated cases. The system needs to be rewritten with unambiguous guidelines for courts and judges to clear pendency. If judiciary is not ready to take initiative, the government should make a move. After all, everybody who is drawing salary and perks from the exchequer must have some accountability to public.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy that you liked the article. Sometimes we are compelled to raise voice, and particularly in a democracy, one should go for it. Thank you for sharing your reflections 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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