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Report No. 54

Chapter 53

Need for National Academy for Judicial Training

Introductory

53.1. As already indicated in the Chapter on our approach1, we now proceed to discuss certain matters to which we attach considerable importance. These concern the remuneration and training of members of the judiciary.

1. Chapter 1B, supra.

Importance of role of Judges

53.2. Although we have attempted to examine the question of introducing reasonable changes in the Code of Civil Procedure, as comprehensively as we could within the time at our disposal, we ought to indicate some other important aspects which may, on a superficial view, appear to be collateral to our inquiry, but which we regard as an integral part of the basic purpose of our inquiry.

It is plain that a Code of Civil Procedure is a means towards speedy administration of justice by civil courts; however, the role which reforms of Civil Procedure Code can play for the legal system as a whole is limited. Apart from the part which rational procedure will play in making the administration of justice speedy, less costly and less unpredictable, the role of Judges in this direction is undoubtedly crucial. That is why we are expressing our views on this aspect of the matter emphatically in the present Chapter.

53.3. Even at the cost of repetition, we wish to emphasise that the success of any system, and particularly the judicial system, depends on the men who work the system. Judges play an important role in its working, and we must, therefore, make some recommendations for adequately preparing our junior judges for their task. But the Members of the Bar have also a vital contribution to make, and their willing and unstinted cooperation can contribute to the successful working of the system.

As has been lucidly stated1,-

"After all, the success or failure of any procedural system depends upon the men who administer it. Of the three groups that comprise the judicial branch of government-secretariat, judiciary and counsel-the last is the most important, the judiciary perform a vital function, but they are recruited from the ranks of counsel and their performance depends upon, and seldom rises above, that of counsel. In an adversary system it is the adversaries who do the bulk of the work."

1. David Kilgour Procedure and Judicial Administration in Canada in Mowhimney (Ed.) Canadian Jurisprudence, (1958), pp. 301, 312.

Remuneration of judicial officers

53.4. In this connection, we must, first and foremost, refer to the question of adequate remuneration to members of the judiciary which has been discussed more than once. It is obvious that ill-paid judicial officers cannot give their best.

53.5. What is more important is, poor remuneration for junior judicial officers can never attract competent lawyers to join the judicial service. We confess that we are unable to decide how we should express our firm belief in this matter, in order to convince the Union Government and the State Governments that they are ill-serving judicial administration by refusing to recognize the patent truth that for the success of the judicial process, we must attract competent lawyers to join the judicial service, and that competent lawyers just will not be attracted to the judicial service unless the terms of their service are radically improved.

53.5A. We are fully conscious that the subject of the terms and conditions of service of the subordinate judiciary is a matter for the State Governments to decide, but we would urge the Union Government to persuade the State Governments to take the necessary action without delay before the judicial process falls into complete disrepute by its inefficiency and unsatisfactory working. If the rule of law is to become and continue to be a reality in our national life, our courts must be manned by competent and experienced and fearless judges. It is in this context that we proceed to make our recommendations.

Number of Judges

53.6. We should also re-iterate here what was said in the earlier Report', as to the need for increasing the number of judges. Discussing the causes of delay, the Commission observed:-

"(1) There is congestion of work in several courts. The only way of removing such congestion is to appoint additional judges. Unless the arrears in any court are wiped out by the appointment of additional Judges, any improvements in procedure will not result in the expeditious disposal of cases in that Court.

(2) The remuneration at present payable to Judges is grossly inadequate. The Law Commission, has in its Fourteenth Report, made certain recommendations on this subject. If Judges are expected to work efficiently and honestly, they should be properly paid, having regard to their status and the nature of work done by them.

(3) A great deal of preliminary work for getting cases ready for disposal is done by the ministerial staff. The ministerial staff should be of sufficient strength to handle such work properly and expeditiously. The emoluments paid to the ministerial staff in subordinate courts are near the starvation level. A great deal of corruption among the ministerial staff in subordinate courts is due to this factor. It is, therefore, imperative that the conditions of service of such ministerial staff should be improved."

Training of judicial officers

53.7. We would, also, like to emphasise the need for the training of judicial officers, who join judicial service in the lowest cadre. We attach vital importance to the question of proper training. Although this topic is outside the purview of the Code of Civil Procedure, we are dealing with it here because, in our view, no amount of reform of the law of procedure will succeed if those who administer the law are not properly equipped for their task.

53.8. The quality and output of work of judicial officers will, to a great extent, depend not only on the mental and intellectual equipment which they posses, but also on their ideals and sense of service. The State should, therefore, do its maximum to ensure that they enter on their duties with the best equipment and with the highest sense of service.

Institute recommended

53.9. In the relatively isolated atmosphere of the law school, it is not possible to impart familiarity with the real life drama in the court. It is, therefore, eminently desirable that those who will be called upon to face that drama and to pronounce verdict on it should be adequately prepared for it. We, therefore, recommend, as a first step, the establishment of an institute for the purpose of training of judicial officers.

Training needed to raise intellectual calibre

53.10. The training to be imparted at the institute should be such as to ensure that members of the lower judiciary have an intellectual equipment of the best order. It should be borne in mind that enrichment of the calibre of subordinate judiciary is a measure necessary to ensure better judicial qualities in the higher judiciary, because many members of the latter are drawn from the former.



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