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Report No. 127

Resource Allocation for Infra-structural Services in Judicial Administration - (A Continuum of the Report on Manpower Planning in Judiciary: A Blueprint)

Chapter I

Introduction

1.1. Ever since men have begun to reflect upon the relations with each other and upon vicissitudes of the human lot, they have been pre-occupied with the meaning of justice and a popular belief has been that justice can only be obtained through court. That itself gives credence, credibility and respectability to the court system. But like any other institution, the system has to constantly justify its existence by rendering the service expected of it.

The moment it fails or falters, the credibility and respectability devalues. For a functioning democracy, court system, where justice is obtained even against the State, is a pre-requisite. Therefore, the court system, whenever it is under an unbearable load, requires thorough re-examination and its restructuring with a view to making it efficient, people and result-oriented.1

1. Allen, quoted in Report of the Labour Law Review Committee, 4 (Government of Gujarat, 1974).

1.2. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights provides that:

"Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted by the Constitution or by law."1

Expounding the fundamental principles of justice underlying the Declaration, the Law Commission had observed:

"Equality is the basis of all modern systems of jurisprudence and administration of justice.... In so far as a person is unable to obtain access to a court of Law for having his wrongs redressed or for defending himself against a criminal charge, justice becomes unequal and laws which are meant for his protection have no meaning and to that extent fail in their purpose."2

Failure on the front of providing adequate and easily accessible courts of justice is one of the principal causes of popular dissatisfaction with the administration of justice. This was voiced way back in 1906 by Dean Rescue Pound in his famous speech.3 The dissatisfaction stems from 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. This has attracted the attention not only of the members of the Bar, consumers of justice (litigants), social activists, legal academics, Parliament, but also the managers of the court.

1. Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

2. LCI, 14th Report on Reform of Judicial Administration.

3. Quoted in H.T. Rubin The Courts: Fulcrum of the Justice System, 208.

1.3. The Government of India accordingly resolved to set up a Judicial Reforms Commission. Ultimately the task of studying and recommending judicial reforms was entrusted to the present Law Commission. A comprehensive proposal for judicial reforms must aim at making the system resilient, expeditious, informal, free from procedural juggernauts, inexpensive and result-oriented. Article 39A of the constitution set the goal m this behalf by providing that the State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.

Any one solution cannot attain the desired end. A multi-pronged programme dealing with each cause which made the system static, stratified and beyond the reach of the common man, had to be devised so that each contributory factor can be effectively and adequately dealt with.

1.4. Viewed from the angle hereinabove indicated, in its phased programme of recommending judicial reforms, Law Commission amongst others also concentrated on manpower planning in judiciary.1 In that report, it was specifically stated that the problem of judicial manpower planning has been generally ignored in India's planned development. The reason simply, amongst others, is that a developing science of manpower planning has not attracted the attention of policy opinion makers in the field of administration of justice in India.2

Law Commission accordingly recommended that the State should immediately increase the present ratio from 10.5 Judges per million of Indian population to at least 50 Judges per million of Indian population within the period of next five years. It was further recommended that by the year 2,000 India should command at least 107 Judges per million of Indian population.3 Law Commission also made it clear that this is an interim report on the issue of recognisation of Indian judiciary. Its second report proceeding on this basis will deal with the method of judicial appointments.4

Its third report will deal with the problem on resource allocation for bureaucratic and infra-structural services to judicial administration, including the use of computer technology for its modernisation. This report accordingly is the promised third report dealing with resource allocation for bureaucratic and infra-structural services to judicial administration. This report is a continuum of the two earlier reports5 and all the three provide a package. If the recommendations in these reports are not dealt with as a package, the whole picture is likely to be distorted.

1. LCI, 120th Report on Manpower Planning in Judiciary: A Blueprint.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. LCI, 121st Report on A New Forum for Judicial Appointments.

5. LCI, 120th Report on Manpower Planning in Judiciary: A Blueprint and 121st Report on A New Forum for Judicial Appointments.



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