With over three crore cases pending at various courts across the country, the Union ministry of law and justice has formulated a two-pronged plan to ensure that justice is not denied due to inordinate delays. It has set up two committees with an agenda that all cases be solved within a time period of five years.
The National Court Management System Committee (NCMSC) will work towards reducing the time taken by cases to get final judgments. The NCMSC, in turn, will be advised by a committee headed by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir.
The government said this in response to former Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia’s letter a few months ago about setting up of a National Court Management System Committee to develop and implement proposals to lessen the burden of the judiciary. The committee was constituted a day before he retired last month.
According to the NCMSC scheme, “There is an urgent need to make the judicial system five-plus free (free of cases more than five years old). There is an equally urgent need to shorten the average life cycle of all cases – not only time spent within each court, but also the total time in the judicial system as a whole — to no more than about one year in each court.” It further says there is also a need to systematically maintain and continuously seek to enhance the quality and responsiveness of justice.
Estimating that the pendency of cases in the next three decades would touch over 15 crore before 75,000 courts and judges, the scheme will first monitor the performance of courts with regard to their quality, responsiveness and timeliness.
The NCMSC will be advised by a committee headed by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir, Justice P Sathasivam of the Supreme Court and Justice PC Tatia of the Jharkhand High Court.
Headed by Dr G Mohan Gopal, former director of the National Judicial Academy, the NCMSC shall comprise Chief Justice of the Delhi high court D Murugesan, justice AM Khanwilkar of the Bombay HC, justice Amitava Roy of the Gauhati HC, justice BD Ahmed of the Delhi HC, the registrar general of the Gujarat HC, the registrar general of the Calcutta HC and the registrar general of the Karnataka HC.