Report No. 114
Approach Disclosed in the Working Paper
3.1. Past attempts for reform.-
Unmanageable backlog of cases, mounting arrears and inordinate delay in disposal of cases in courts at all levels-lowest to the highest-coupled with exorbitant expenses-have attracted the attention of not only the members of the Bar, consumers of justice (litigants), social activist, legal academics and Parliament but also the managers of the courts. The Chief Justice of India has gone on record saying that the 'justice system as in vogue in this country is about to collapse'. The disturbing situation so disclosed attracts attention of anyone concerned with law reform. Numerous suggestions have been made by the earlier Law Commissions for introducing radical reforms in the system of administration of justice.
The sole governing consideration till then was how to reduce the delay in disposal of cases, make the system resilient by removing its stratification, making the system less formal and truly inexpensive i.e. to bring it within the reach of the poor. The Fourteenth, Fifty-fourth, Seventy-seventh and Seventy-ninth amongst other reports of the Law Commission, recommending numerous changes keeping the system in its basic frame-work intact were directed towards peripheral changes. The fall-out of these changes, we observe with regret, has been further deterioration in the efficacy of the system. The law Commission accordingly, decided to approach the matter from a hitherto unexplored end.