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Synergise responsibilities of judiciary and executive: PM

August 16, 2009 14:24 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called upon the judiciary and executive to work together to make the Indian judicial system an arrear free institution.

Singh was speaking at the Joint Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices in New Delhi on Sunday.

Singh said that the elimination of vast number of pending cases in the courts is the biggest challenge before the judiciary. "The mammoth number of pending cases cannot be allowed to disillusion or dishearten us. It has to spur us to even higher peaks of achievement and bring out the best from every stakeholder, acting in coordination to progressively overcome this great challenge," Singh Said.

Calling for a holistic and multipronged approach, Singh said here is no space for piecemeal, patchy or sectoral responses in judiciary.

"Judicial review has breached unprecedented frontiers. Yet, amidst such strengths, brilliance and dynamism, India has to suffer the scourge of the world's largest backlog of cases and timelines, which generate surprise globally and concern at home. The expeditious elimination of this scourge is the biggest challenge for such conferences and should constitute the highest priority for all of us," Singh said.

Singh asked the legal system to function as a seamless web and an indivisible whole in solving the problems of the commoner.

"The Supreme Court has to be a catalyst, an organiser, a mentor, an umpire, a participant, and, above all, a role model, all at the same time. I can assure this august gathering with all the emphasis at my command that my government will not be found wanting at any level in this joint effort," Singh said.

Singh assured to match each step of the judiciary with two of there own and said his government will not hesitate to walk the extra mile at every opportunity.

Calling for reforms in the judicial system, Singh said the procedural, substantive, or attitudinal reforms, which must be continuously and collectively applied to achieve results.

"Meritorious individuals should be appointed timely to judicial posts, which have been enhanced at the High Court level by 150 in the last few years. The existing vacancies in High Courts are quite high in number and need to be filled up urgently," Singh said.

Nearly 3,000 judge posts are vacant in the country due to the delay in recruitment.

Singh also called to strengthen the State Judicial Academies to build capacities of judicial officers. Stressing for the need of adopting e-governance in the judicial system, Singh said a comprehensive computerisation and ultimate linking of all courts in the country into one mega judicial information grid needs to be tailored and adapted to enable screening of all pending cases.

In his speech Singh also stressed the need for the improving the mechanisms and processes for providing legal aid to the marginalized sections of the society.

Singh said there is a need to give it wider publicity to alternative dispute resolution centres to reduce the pendency of cases and the number of under-trials in the country.

Expressing his concern over the increasing number of under trials in the country, Singh asked the conference to devote some time to discuss the issue.

Calling for more focus on to wipe the tears of the waiting litigant, Singh said the aim of independent judiciary cannot be achieved till it meets the demands and expectation of litigant in letter and spirit.

Source: ANI