Indian Judicial System

Lots have been said about the way Indian Judiciary functions or rather does not function.

It takes ages to give verdict in cases that in some the petitions die before the verdict. They say Justice delayed in Justice denied. So the Judiciary is actually doing injustice by holding up the cases for ages.

This week, in the prominent trial of the 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai, the culprit (accused in legal terms) was so frustrated by the trail progress that he came forward and confessed and asked for quick sentence. This shows that even culprits who kill people in cold-blood are bored by the slow & tardy court proceedings.

Possible suggestions to improve the system:

a. Avoid giving adjournments that are primary reason for delays
b. If either party appeals the verdict in higher court and looses then sentence must be increased or hefty fine must be imposed, as the case may be.
c. If the verdict of the higher court is different from the lower court, then before giving the verdict a review by a panel must be done to verify reason for the difference in the verdicts and the Judge giving the wrong verdict must be penalised probably with a fine or in extreme cases by dismissal.
d. Judicial records must be digitised. any person must be able to access any case proceeding details and reports on the time taken by a Judge to arrive at a a judgement must be published. Judge’s promotion must depend on how fast and correct the judgement is.
e. Every case filed before the Court must first have an in-person arbitration by a panel consisting of prominent persons, officials & Judges. Here only the related parties must be present and not their advocates, if a compromise is not reached then only the case must be taken up.
f. Have separate courts for people-against-people cases, people-against-government/officials and other types of cases. Esp. in case of land acquistions for infrastructure projects temporary fast track courts must take-over and work from the location of the dispute.
g. Advocates must also be penalised in case appeals rejected and also in case the witness changes his declaration. Witness must be penalised for wronful statement. Such punishments must be stringent to ensure advocates donot unnessarily delay the litigation
h. Time Limit must be prescribed for each Type of case and Judges must stict to it. If either party is not able to provide sufficient evidence supporting their stand within the time-frame then ex-party ruling must be given.
i. Issue of Stay Order must be restricted. If a Judge is issuing Stay Order without proper reasoning esp. in cases where the appellate has visibly done something wrong like encroachment, deviation in building, etc. then Judge should be also liable to be penalised.

Only when advocates & judges are also brought into a stringent system of evalution and public scrutiny will they have any inclination to perform better.