Report No. 114
General Features of Response on the Working Paper
4.1. Views of State Governments.-
The establishment of courts subordinate to a High Court is constitutionally required to be undertaken by the State Governments (Articles 233-236 and Entry 65 in State List). Accordingly the, working paper was specifically circulated to all the State Governments for eliciting the views and comments thereon. In all, fourteen States have responded to the paper. The State Government of Madhya Pradesh, while generally concurring with the proposals, felt that the system when introduced may entail appointment of large number of judges and as such it would involve enormous financial requirement. On this premise, they expressed their inability to adopt the system due to financial constraints. The then Minister of State for Law in the State of Rajasthan, while extending full support to the proposals, forwarded number of suggestions to make the system more effective.
The State Government of Orissa welcomed the proposal but voiced an apprehension that it might be difficult to find suitably trained judicial officers to hold the type of courts envisaged in the proposal. The State Governments of Punjab and Haryana while welcoming the proposal cautioned that the jurisdiction of Nyaya Panchayats should be such that there is minimum possible risk of party politics contaminating the decision of cases. The State Governments of Bihar, Kerala and Jammu & Kashmir supported the proposal. States like Karnataka and Maharashtra did withhold their support. A majority of States expressed broad agreement with the change envisaged in the working paper.
However, Governments of certain States and Union territories like the State of Meghalaya and the Union territory of Arunachal Pradesh, where indigenous judicial system is in vogue for the tribal people, were of the view that the existing system should not be disturbed as they not only effectively dispense justice but the system is inexpensive and speedily available at the door-step of the tribals. Let it be clearly understood that where the system of judicial administration at village level is quick, inexpensive and easily accessible, it must not be disturbed. However, as and when they would like to get into the national mainstream, then the question of adopting the forum which is herein recommended must be adopted.