Report No. 77
1.12. Past attempts to tackle delay at all-India level.-
To deal with the question of delay in the disposal of civil cases both in the High Courts as well as in the subordinate courts, a Committee was appointed in 1924 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Justice Rankin of Calcutta High Court.1
The task of the Committee was "to enquire into the operation and effects of the substantive and adjective law, whether enacted or otherwise, followed by the courts in India in the disposal of civil suits, appeals, applications for revision and other civil litigation (including the execution of decrees and orders), with a view to ascertaining and reporting whether any and what changes and improvements should be made so as to provide , for the more speedy, economical and satisfactory despatch of the business transacted in the courts and for the more speedy, economical and satisfactory execution of the process issued by the courts".
The Committee, after a thorough and careful enquiry into the various aspects, forwarded an exhaustive report in 1925. In 1949, a High Court Arrears Committee was set up by the Government of India under the Chairmanship of Mr. Justice S.R. Das for enquiring and reporting as to the advisability of curtailing the tight of appeal and revision, the extent of such curtailment, the method by which such curtailment should be effected, and the measures which should be adopted to reduce the accumulation of arrears.
A number of suggestions were then made by this Committee. At the end of the year 1969, the Government of India constituted a Committee presided over by Mr. Justice Hidayatullah, the then Chief Justice, to go into the problem of arrears in all its aspects and to suggest remedial measures. Upon the retirement of Mr. Justice Hidayatullah, Mr. Justice Shah was appointed the Chairman of that Committee.2
1. Rankin Committee.
2. High Court Arrears Committee Reort, (1972).