Law’s Delay !!!!!!
-By Jagruti Dekavadiya
Second Year student of B.A.LL.B.(Hons.)
According to history, in our country citizens had always access to the king for justice right from the time to Ramayana. Later on right to access justice became the part of constitution because of the Article 372. After Independence also, the participation of people in the process of justice increase. Even today Indians believe in right to access justice. It is said that,
“Justice is the basis of Humanity, Justice is the Supreme goal.”
The financial Independence in the administration of justice can make the justice delivery system more effective than the present situation. It is the necessary and the useful way in judicial reforms. It is also right that the complete separation of judiciary from the executive and the legislative cannot be possible totally. But the financial Autonomy of judiciary can be the solution for the present problem.
Judiciary & Administration of Justice:
In every field may be that is the corporate, social, economic, political or any other, whenever the dispute has taken place, the judiciary has played its vital role in solving the problem. The landmark examples for that are as follows:
- The landmark decision in case of Maneka Gandhi.
- The landmark decision in the case of Hussainara Khatoon V. State of Bihar1
- The decision given in the case of Suk Das V. Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh
There are number of cases in which the judiciary has shown its interest for the betterment of the society. No doubt that judiciary is really active in performing its duty as well as like coin if we think about another side of it than what is the condition. According to the article Burden of backlog given by R.D.Sharma,
“The slow legal system has always been a cause of concern for the litigant public. Recent revelations about the huge backlog of cases in all courts have underlined the enormity of the problem and the failure of all past efforts in this direction.
Clearly, in some high courts, cases filed now will not come up for hearing before 2010; civil suits may have to wait for a decade more. Invoking the law seems to mean only wasted years, heavy financial burden and emotional and physical trauma. The right of fair and speedy trial means nothing to over 3 lakh under trials languishing in various jails whose upkeep alone costs the exchequer about Rs 501 crore annually.”
The present scenario of the administration of justice provoked the mind of the people to think about the Independence of it. Today it is said that, “Justice Delay is justice denied”. Inadequate judge strength in law courts at all levels is the main cause for unconscionable delays and arrears. India has the lowest number of judges among the major democracies — 13.05 judges per million people as against Australia (58 per million), Canada (75 per million), UK (100 per million) and the US (130 per million).
Why the Financial Autonomy in Administration of Justice is needed?
As an observer or rather as an Indian I can say that today in the era of technology the court need finance for good infrastructure as well as the fund are required for creating new posts of judges, increasing the number of courts and also for the better research latest technology like internet connection in every court. For all the above function the pillar is Financial Autonomy. It is the only way from which the judicial reforms can be started. Today the USA, UK, & JAPAN are known for their administration because in those countries between 12 and 15 percent of total expenditure is being spent behind the administration of judiciary and in INDIA less than 0.3 per cent of GNP or 0.78 per cent of the total revenue is spent on the judiciary. In India the administration of justice is not up to the mark. The reason is that there is no planning and proper budgeting of the Courts’ requirements in consultation with the Judiciary as is done in other countries.
Independence of judiciary and the basic tenets of it have received attention of the
Supreme Court of India in many cases and one of the most important of them is what is
Commonly described as “Judges Case” (Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association
And Others v. Union of India, (1993 4 SCC 441). Some of the observations made in that case
Have become locus classicus. It is necessary to state as has been stated by Sri H.M. Seervai in a book; the independence of the judge can be threatened not only by the executive or by political interference, but also by financial anxiety, as Lord Denning said in “The Road to Justice”. Financial autonomy so far as judiciary is concerned is a must. Hamilton was right when he said that judiciary is weakest of the three great departments of the State; it has neither the power of the purse, nor power of the sword, neither money, nor patronage on one hand, nor physical force to enforce its decision on the other. It must rely on the support of the people by virtue of its moral authority.
In the above scenario, it has become necessary to go into the subject of ‘financial independence’ or ‘financial support’ of the Judiciary in India at some length on a comparative basis and also to consider the need for adequate provision for the Judiciary as a ‘Plan’ subject.
To have an independent judiciary to meet all challenges, unbending before the authorities and to uphold the imperatives of the Constitution at all times thereby preserving judicial integrity is the basic need of the society. By giving financial autonomy to Judiciary, it shall be protected against economic, political and other influences, which would ensure impartiality. In a number of judgments of the Supreme Court, it has been laid down that the independence of the Judiciary is part of the basic structure of our Constitution. In S.P. Gupta vs. Union of India & Another [1981 Suppl. SCC 87 at p 223], Bhagwati, J. (as he then was) observed that “The concept of independence of the judiciary is a noble concept which inspires the constitutional scheme and constitutes the foundation on which rests the edifice of our democratic polity.” In the same case, Fazal Ali, J. stated (p.408) that “it has, however, not been doubted by counsel for any of the parties that independence of judiciary is doubtless a basic structure of the Constitution”. Again in Shri Kumar Padma Prasad vs. Union of India & Others [1992(2) SCC 428 at 446 and 456], Kuldip Singh, J observed that the “Independence of the Judiciary is the basic feature of the Constitution”.
What is Independence of Judiciary?
Independence of the Judiciary deals with the independence of the individual Judges in relation to their appointment, tenure, payment of salaries and also non-removal except by process of impeachment. The independence has also other facets including the ‘institutional independence of the Judiciary’. One of the accepted facets of ‘institutional independence’ is the one concerning the financial resources and financial freedom or autonomy that is to be given to the Judiciary. Today, this concept has been developed and accepted in most of the democracies governed by the rule of law. The doctrine of separation of powers has been suitably modified and adjusted to achieve the above goal of financial freedom of the Judiciary. The principle of judicial independence is almost universally accepted. Initially it is necessary to refer to resolutions of international bodies under the aegis of the UN and to resolutions passed under the auspices of the International Commission of Jurists.
Words of John Rudlege spoken on the floor of the House of Representatives in 1802 describing the “shield of judiciary” are relevant. He stated,
“The Government may be administered with indiscretion and violence, offices may be bestowed exclusively upon those which have no merits than that of carrying votes at the
Elections, the commerce of our country may be depressed by nonsensical theories and public
Character may suffer from bad intentions, but so long as we may have independent judiciary,
Great interest of the people will be safe. Leave to the people an independent judiciary, and
They will prove that man is capable of governing himself”.
In the conclusion I would like to say that, today if we want to make our judiciary more effective and more powerful than the present case then the Financial Autonomy in the administration of justice is must. In the memorable words of Lord Devlin,
“Prestige of the judiciary and their reputation for stark impartiality is not at the disposal of any government; it is an asset that belongs to the whole nation.”