CJI Makes Emo­tional Ap­peal to In­crease Num­ber of Judges

Says hir­ing more judges would clear up mount­ing back­log of cases and im­prove in­vestor sen­ti­ment

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Sa­man­waya.Rau­tray @times­group.com

New Delhi: Supreme Court chief jus­tice TS Thakur made an un­usu­ally di­rect and, at times, emo­tional ap­peal to PM Naren­dra Modi to in­crease the num­ber of judges by six to seven times to clear up the mount­ing back­log of cases, im­prove in­vestor sen­ti­ment and has­ten eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. “Whether a for­eign in­vestor in­vests will de­pend upon his faith in the abil­ity of the country’s ju­di­cial sys­tem to deal with his cases. Ef­fi­cacy of the ju­di­cial sys­tem is vi­tally con­nected to de­vel­op­ment,” he said at a joint con­fer­ence of chief min­is­ters and high court chief jus­tices in the cap­i­tal on Sun­day.

“We are ask­ing (for more funds, man- power) not for the poor, not for those lan­guish­ing in the jails, but for de­vel­op­ment.” In his re­ply, Modi re­minded the au­gust gath­er­ing how he had been scoffed at when he had first sug­gested that courts work on hol­i­days to deal with the pres­sures of in­creas­ing lit­i­ga­tion. "Who do you think you are? I was told,” he said in Hindi to much laugh­ter. But he quickly added: “I un­der­stand your pain.” He said greater clar­ity in draft­ing laws would help and in­vited the CJI and his se­nior col­leagues to sit down with him and re­solve the is­sue. “It is not enough to al­ways crit­i­cise,” Thakur had said ear­lier dur­ing his speech. “The en­tire bur­den (of de­lays, pend­ing cases) can­not be shifted to the judges."

Thakur said In­dia had about 19,000 judges, which was “grossly in­ad­e­quate” for a country of over a bil­lion which had seen an ex­plo­sion in lit­i­ga­tion. He cited Law Com­mis­sion re­ports pre­pared 30 years ago that ar­gued for at least a five-fold jump in the judge-pop­u­la­tion ra­tio from 10 for ev­ery mil­lion to 50 per mil­lion.

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