Govt to help judiciary to reduce pendency of cases: PM

Allahabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured Chief Justice J S Khehar that his government will make all efforts to back his resolve to reduce burden on the judiciary and pendency of cases.

“I assure the chief justice that government will back his ‘sankalp’ (resolve) to bring down the burden on the judiciary and reduce pendency of cases,” he said in his address at the sesquicentennial celebrations marking 150 years of the Allahabad High Court.

Noting that he felt that there was an element of “pain” in the speech of Justice Khehar, Modi said the government had done away with 1,200 old laws to find a way out of the maze of the statutes and also help the judiciary in modernising the system.

He asked the people working on startups to bring about innovations to strengthen the judicial system.

The Prime Minister lauded the steps being taken by the chief justice to make use of technology in simplifying the working of the courts and bring about qualitative change.

Modi also said video conferencing should be used for deposition made in courts by those facing trial, the witnesses and officials to prevent wastage of time and money.

He appealed to the judiciary, the government and the people to make 2022, the 75th year of Independence, a target year to take the country to greater heights.

Earlier addressing the gathering, Justice Khehar raised the issue of pendency of cases in courts including in the Supreme Court, and the shortage of judges, and said he was taking steps to reduce the burden on the judiciary.

He asked the judges to consider sitting in courts for five days during vacation to clear at least 10 cases each day and bring down the pendency.

“This way thousands of small matters like matrimonial disputes and mediation cases can be settled and arrears of cases brought down” he said and referred to a system of court management under which pendency of cases in Malaysia had been brought down to one-fifth.

He said he proposes to have three constitution benches during this summer vacation to help reduce the arrears in the apex court.

On the issue of simplification of procedure, Justice Khehar said he is making efforts to make the system paperless in the Supreme Court in a month or so.

The gathering was attended by UP and West Bengal governors Ram Naik and K N Tripathi, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Allahabad High Court CJI Dilip B Bhosale and members from the legal fraternity.