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Daily Editorial – GoI suggests SEC for appointment of Judges


  • GoI suggests SEC for appointment of Judges
  1. Context
  2. What is SEC?
  3. Will it restrict the authority of Collegium?
  4. Why is SEC necessary?
  5. How will SEC be constituted?
  6. Other Possible Solutions to improve judicial infrastructure:-
  7. Conclusion

  • Problems in Indian Judiciary
  1. Poor Judicial Infrastructure
  2. Pendency of Cases.
  3. Disposal of cases
  4. Other Problems:

GoI suggests SEC for appointment of Judges


Context


A market-based economic system can operate efficiently only if judicial processes ensure a fair, effective and speedy disposal of disputes.

ButIndianjudiciaryismalfunctioningwithacutevacanciesandpendencyofcasesandtaking long time to resolve the cases. In this context, the GoI’s suggestion for appointingaSearchCumEvaluationCommittee(SEC)seemsappropriate


What is SEC?


Search Cum Evaluation Committee (SEC) will be a body with its composition of former judges, academics and other experts for assisting HC and SC collegiums in expanding the zone of consideration, undertaking due diligence and acquiring necessary clearances.


Will it restrict the authority of Collegium?


  • A SEC would be a subordinate body, the SEC will not in any sense restrict the supreme authority and autonomy of the SC collegiums in the selection of judges.
  • It will only institutionalize the search and selection process, making it objective, transparent and expeditious.

Why is SEC necessary?


The present system is not working adequately and has many problems.

Consider the following example of the Madhya Pradesh High Court,which considered 71“so- called” eligible advocates for appointment as judges. After scrutiny, only eight were recommended by the HC collegium. Of these eight, the SC collegium recommended only three;after required Intelligence Bureau(IB)inputs,only two names were recommended.

Finally,onlyonewasappointed.Thismassivewasteoftimeandresourcesshouldbeavoided.

Judges are there to make judgments and resolve disputes and not waste the precious experience acquired years of studying and practicing law in selection of brother-judges.

Without the SEC in place, it is impossible for existing collegiums to consider the entire set of candidates. The selection process thereby inevitably becomes subjective and opaque.


How will SEC be constituted?


  • The present suggestions as made by the government are that the SEC can have three- year tenure.
  • Its membership to be decided by the CJI in consultation with the GoI.
  • It will bring judicial appointments in line with the practice in vogue in the GoI now, where senior-most appointments in the bureaucracy and regulatory bodies go through search and selection committees before being recommended to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for final approval.

Other Possible Solutions to improve judicial infrastructure


  • Government should that consider civil court fees structure must be suitably modified and it must be made mandatoryforstategovernmentstospendtheentirefeessocollectedonbuildingjudicial infrastructure.
  • Frivolous litigation needs to be tightly regulated. In some cases, judge overstep the boundary. They must remember that courts can’t be a substitute for the government. (Ex: National Anthem Judgment)
  • Existing system of bringing 30 per cent (HC) judges from the subordinate judiciary is flawed since the person who come sat the fagend of hisorhercareer becomes a high court judge only duet seniority. Sucha person will only spend their time waiting for eventual retirement.This quota needs to be revised or such elevations must only be on the basis of performance as a judge

Conclusion


The setting-up of the SEC will need an urgent and positive consideration by the new CJI. He must surely realize that the more the delays in reforming judiciary will only be exacerbating the problems in India’s judiciary


Problems in Indian Judiciary


 

Poor Judicial Infrastructure


  • All the levels of courts are bogged by vacancies, Supreme Court, High Court and lowercourts.
  • Even if the vacancies are filled somehow, there is a shortage of 4000 courtrooms inIndia.
  • Law Commission report 1987 pointed out that the judge- population ratio in India wasonly
  • 10.5 judges per million population (it is now 12 judges per million).
  • It also suggested that to begin with, the judge strength could be raised five-fold (to 50 judges per million population) in a period of five  years.
  • Almost 30 years later, even that five-fold-increase target looks distant.
  • On the contrary, The number of judges in position has practically remained the same over the years with 648 judges in position in November 2016, as compared to the previous highest of 639 in January 2014 and 630 in January2010.

Pendency of Cases.


  • 76 lakh cases pending as on December 31, 2015, in all high courts, of which 7.45 lakh — almost 20 per cent — have been pending for over 10years.
  • The situation in subordinate courts is not any better. Of the 2.18 crore cases pending in lowers courts in the country, 1.46 lakh are criminal cases and over 72 lakh are civil cases.

Disposal of cases


  • Supreme Court saw a rise in the number of cases disposed of over three years — from 40,189 in 2013 to 47,424 in 2015 — the figures for disposal by high courts actually went down from 17.72 lakhto 16.05 lakh in that period.
  • Subordinate courts too have shown a fall in the disposal rate, with 1.87 crore cases being disposed of in 2013 and 1.78 crore being disposed of in2015.

Other Problems


  • Needless interference and no self- restraint by the judges shouldstop.
  • Too much time is being wasted on cases that are plain frivolous. Frivolous cases that consume too much court time should be dealt with a heavy hand and exemplary costs should be imposed on such litigation.
  • Judicial Vacations: Eight Weeks is toomuch.

 

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  • PunchTantra

    well explained article, please remove formatting errors from it…appropriate spacing is missing