Report No. 27
9. Problem of delay.-Although the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 are basically sound, it cannot be gainsaid that in view of the appalling backlog of cases which has unfortunately become a normal feature of nearly all the courts of the country, the problem of delay in the law courts has assumed great importance. Lord Evershed's observation quoted earlier is worth repetition:
"Expedition and cost to the community and the litigant alike are factors of ever present import (in maintaining the respect of the citizens for the law). We have, therefore, while making our recommendations, paid special attention to this problem."1
1. Lord Evershed, in the Foreword to Delmar Karlen, "Appellate Courts in the United States and England".
10. Reports of previous Committees and Commissions.-The problem of delay is not a new problem. It is as old as the law courts. Nor is the problem peculiar to our country. Lord Devlin in his speech before the Thirteenth Legal Convention of the Law Council of Australia admitted that even in England cases are taking longer to be decided1. In India, Committee after Committee2 has been appointed to tackle this problem. The Rankin Committee appointed in 1923 devoted a large part of its Report to this problem3.
The problem has been examined in some detail in the Fourteenth Report of the Law Commission on the Reform of administration of justice. Some States appointed their own Committees to deal with this problem. Various suggestions have been made by all these Committees. Many of them have been implemented. But the problem still remains. The problem is complex, and does not admit of a simple solution. The Fourteenth Report contains several recommendations for eliminating delay. We have further examined these recommendations in some detail. We have carried out many of them. We have ventured to make a few more suggestions, which we think, will help in the solution of the problem. We have also taken into consideration the suggestions for eliminating delay made at the recent seminar on Civil Procedure Code held in New Delhi under the auspices of the Bar Association of India.
1. 36 Australian Law Journal, pp. 277, 279.
2. For details, see 14th Report, Vol. I.
3. Civil Justice Committee (1924-25), Report, pp. 1-446.
11. System of administration of justice and procedure.-There is a school of thought which believes that our procedural laws, which are based on the English system, are not suited to the genius of our people. The alternatives to the English system are (i) the indigenous system, and (ii) the continental system.