Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said on Saturday that non-filling up of judicial vacancies and not improving judicial infrastructure was the main reason for pending cases in the country.
Ramana flagged the issue of "hasty and indiscriminate arrests, difficulty in obtaining bail, and prolonged incarceration of undertrials" as urgent, reported NDTV.
This comes after Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said that there was a backlog of 5 crore cases.
Ramana and Rijiju were present at the inaugural session of the 18th All India Legal Service Authorities' meet organised by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) at Jaipur.
‘Need Holistic Plan of Action,’ CJI
Ramana said in his address, “The challenges are huge. In our criminal justice system, the process is the punishment. From hasty, indiscriminate arrests, to difficulty in obtaining bail, the process leading to the prolonged incarceration of undertrials needs urgent attention.”
He added, “We need a holistic plan of action, to increase the efficiency of the administration of criminal justice.”
Ramana spoke about how training and sensitisation of the police and modernisation of the prison system are ways of improving the judicial system.
His remarks are of significance in light of the recent arrests of Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News.
The CJI added that NALSA and legal service authorities need to focus on these issues to determine how they can help best. He said that NALSA has settled around 2 crore pre-litigation cases, calling it a ‘success story.’
Rijiju said that the target should be 2 crore cases in two years, adding, "There should be good coordination between the government and the judiciary so that there is no delay in achieving the objective of delivering justice to people.”
Responding to this, the CJI said, “I am glad he (Rijiju) has taken up the issue of pendency. We judges also, when we go outside the country, face the same question. You all know the reasons for pendency. I indicated it in the last chief justices-chief ministers conference. You all know the main reason is non-filling of judicial vacancies and not improving the judicial infrastructure.”
(With inputs from PTI and NDTV.)