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Home > India > News > Report

We do look into serious complaints: Chief justice

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | April 19, 2008 19:40 IST

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Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said though the court does receive a large number of complaints, only a handful of them are worth paying attention.

He was addressing a press conference at the end of a meeting of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday.

"Most of the complaints received are by those who have lost the cases. But if do receive a complaint of a serious nature, we then look into it," the chief justice said.

Union Law Minister H R Bhardwaj and some senior judges were also present.

According to the chief justice, there are more than 2,53,00000, both criminal as well as civil, pending before the courts in India.

Though he denied that the issue of salary of judges was discussed during the course of the deliberations, in the end he came out with a statement that the salary of judges would also go up.

Answering a question, Bhardwaj said the vacancies of the high courts would take time to be filled.

"When I took over there were 50 per cent vacancies, now only 183-odd need to be filled. But then some vacancies would not be filled because some judges retire every year," he said.

Both Balakrishnan and Bhardwaj denied that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] had referred to corruption in the judicary.

According to sources, a bill on accountability of the judges may be brought before the Parliament in the monsoon session to make them declare their assets.

"My brother judges when they take over as judges in the Supreme Court do disclose their assets and if they do get something more later on they inform," the chief justice said. But he was not favourably inclined to bring the office of CJI under the ambit of the Right to Information Act.

Balakrishnan extended whole hearted support of the family court idea referred to by Dr Singh during his speech so that the poor can get justice cheaply.

"Let me tell you that it was the suggestion of my Lord that the prime minister speak about family courts," Bhardwaj intervened.

The chief justice has asked high court judges to extend their daily sittings by half an hour.

"They will sit for five and a half hours instead of five earlier. We are leading by example and we have decided to cut our vacation by one week," he said in response to a question that the Supreme Court judges needed to lead by setting up some kind of inspiration for others to follow.

When pointed out that the number of women judges making to the apex court is limited, Justice Balakrishnan came out with a parting shot. "The House of Lords had to wait for 200 years before a woman was inducted," he said.