Why There is an Urgent Need To Reform India’s Judicial System

By Nitesh Singh

Judicial system is overburdened with large number of cases. According to the recent data there is nearly a backlog of nearly 3.3 crore cases of which 2.84 crore case are hanging in the subordinate courts. When cases are not delivered in time justice is delayed. Most often judges deliberately adjourns and delay the hearing. In order word “Judicial Activism” has made the Indian judiciary to be more powerful than the executive and legislature. Thus, there is an urgent need to reform Indian judiciary in order to protect the Indian democracy.

The India Judiciary plagued by many problems, needs a speedy and time bound disposal of cases. Time limit has to be prescribed for arguments. Worthless cases should be dismissed in the initial stage itself. The number of “appeals” and “stays” should also be decreased. It is often believed that Justice delayed is Justice denied and this happened in the case of former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayan who was wrongfully framed in the case of spying in 1994. It took 24 years when a panel headed by 3 member Supreme Court judges found the case to be fake. Justice was delivered but India lost one of its finest brain due to our slow judicial system. His career ended and no amount of compensation would ever match up to what he lost. The independence of judiciary is an integral part of Indian democracy. However it if found that our judiciary has become self appointing and powerful. The superior courts are not accountable and there is no system to investigate complaints against judges. The judiciary does not wants to be accountable or investigated by any independent organisation. If any complaint is reported, the Chief Justice, at the most appoints a committee to investigate and report. Our Constitution has provided for the removal of errant judges through impeachment, however the process of impeachment is itself too tedious and punishment becomes difficult. Till date only two judges of High Court has been prosecuted in the corruption charges but before they could be impeached they were made to resign. Judiciary in India safeguards the Fundamental Rights of the common citizen but it is found that judiciary itself tries to curb the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Speech and Expression enjoyed by the citizens of India through its power of “Contempt of Court”. Any person raising question against the ruling of the Court will be charged under it and there is no point of getting away without apologizing. Due to this reason, common citizen prefer not to lodge complaint against any judge. Considering the current situation there is a need to draw a crucial line of distinction between the judiciary and the legislative.

The law makers feels that Courts are crossing their limit or exceeding their authority in interpreting law. Many of the development works are found to be halted due to court order and it is often believed that courts have now moved way beyond the function assigned to them under Constitution and have exceeded the line of division of work among judiciary and legislative. It is urgent to bring certain judiciary reform in our country. Judiciary must take steps to ensure the effective functioning of the Courts. The days for vacations should be reduced and the working time per day must be atleast increased by an hour. Added to it certain case like rape, terrorism should be dealt in urgent basis rather than making them wait for 10-20 years. Judiciary must also ensure its least interference in the religious affairs and should make sure the law is practiced ethically and honestly.