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|February 25, 1998||
Issues '98/Justice A M Ahmadi
'No party has focused on the issue of judicial reforms'
Though judicial reforms have been a subject for discussion for quite some time, I have not found any party focusing on this issue in the entire election process.
Even during my tenure, attempts were made to revamp and restructure the judicial system at the grassroot level. The Saikia committee submitted its report on judicial reforms just a few days before my retirement. When the committee submitted its report to the government, I too got a copy of it. But I do not know whether any action has been taken to execute its recommendations or if it is still lying in cold storage.
The Saikia committee report had taken into account the earlier Malimath committee's observations and made certain valuable recommendations.
Meanwhile, the government came up with a bill to amend the Civil Procedure Code. This bill was not complete and did not include the Saikia committee's observations. As it was not pursued, the bill has now lapsed.
The Saikia committee suggested a three fold approach to reform the judicial system:
1. Bring about changes in the system without resorting to the amendment of procedural or substantive matters.
These should have been the three phases of judicial reforms. But, in the Civil Procedure Code bill introduced by the government, amendment of the law by the Parliament becomes the first priority and hence the first phase of the reforms. Whereas the Parliamentary amendment should have been the last phase.
I only hope the Saikia report is properly implemented. It could go a long way in getting rid of pending cases. Even the delay in the whole judicial process could be avoided to a great extent.
Justice A M Ahmadi, former Chief Justice of India, spoke to R R Nair.
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