Reducing the ever increasing number of court cases in India

June 6th, 20103:50 pm @    


gavelJudiciary is often criticized for delaying the administration of justice. This criticism is in vogue. Different organs of Government and mass media including newspapers and news channels are constantly complaining about the growing number of cases pending with the judiciary at every level. By judiciary, these critics mean only the Judges and judicial officers. Undoubtedly, the huge number of pending cases is a major roadblock to the development of the country, but can we afford to ignore the frivolous cases that come up in courts daily? An example to support this argument may be that in a suit of permanent injunction, along with the application seeking temporary injunction until the disposal of the above mentioned application. The Presiding Officer, while going through the files for freshly instituted suit, was surprised to find the parties, the property in suit, the cause of action and more interestingly the computer generated plant (except the date of institution) of new suit and those one of previous one are the same. The counsel for the plaintiff was also found to be the same. This is just an example of the untoward situation the subordinate judiciary is facing today. What can be done in these kinds of circumstances? These start a new series of litigation (both civil as well as criminal) and litigants have to spend more time and money on them. There are times when there is a confrontation between the judicial officers and the bar.

Judiciary includes bar also in addition to the judicial officers. The Indian Judicial system has its roots in the British legal system where lawyers play a very important role in administration of justice. In order to do justice, the judicial officer, in court, listens to the arguments of the counsels who bring into light a different interpretation of law or a provision of law or draw the attention of the court towards something unnoticed that helps the judicial officers in administrating justice. No matter the modern phase of development of law is called “Judge-made law” with the help from the interpretation of provisions by the lawyers. It is sufficient to say that without the co-operation of the bar, good judgments could not be possible. An important realisation needed is that bar is the mother of a very great number of judges.

Legal profession is a very strong pillar of our judicial system. It is a pious profession. However, there are a few lawyers in the country who do not leave a stone unturned to tarnish their very own profession. Given the fact that the society is going through a transition phase, more or less every profession is witnessing deterioration in ethics. The legal profession, considered to be for learned, calm and self-controlled people is also facing an inflow of those who take up this profession to make money and it is evident that they can do anything to do so. It has become a very common practice to encourage the clients to go for litigations even though the counsels may be aware about the needlessness of such suits. This is simply adopted to charge the parties and earn more. The clients are often forced to file suits just to take revenge or teach someone a lesson. A wife leaves her husband’s house after a lengthy argument and some habitual litigants incite her to file a complaint against her husband under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code. She then decides to move an application under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Now, to prove his innocence, the husband seeks restitution of conjugal rights under Section-9 of the Hindu Marriage Act and so on. No more the counsels tell their clients that their case is weak but now they assure that the judgment be in their favour by hook or by crook.

The citizens of India are provided with the fundamental rights to freedom. The Hon’ble Supreme Court and the Hon’ble High Courts have also paved way for real freedoms. It is the duty of the judicial officers and lawyers to interpret law in order to grant justice to the large section of the population who is illiterate and depend on lawyers when they face some legal problem. The lawyers should render litigation as a last resort in only those cases where other means of settling disputes like negotiation and arbitration fail. However, they invoke laws to encourage litigation and this is not a pleasant situation.

Lawyers have a very important role and position in the society and should try their best to reduce litigations and ease the burden of huge number of cases pending with the judiciary. Frivolous cases die their own death without any substantial result and the image of the legal profession whittles away. Being honest to the clients and discouraging litigation to the utmost possible manner may seems to be an act of cutting the very branch one is sitting on but farsightedness and not worrying about income will in the long run lead to a better clientage.

Society and law are interdependent on each other. The changes in society lead to passing of certain laws which are new and different to the prevailing customs in the society. These laws, thus, lead to further changes in the society when it tries to adapt to the newer changes in the legal framework which would lead to yet another set of legislations to suit these changes. Legislations are passed in order to reduce the litigation but unless a large section of society is ready to get benefited by this effort everything is futile. Illiterate people approach lawyers to help them in legal problems and it is these lawyers’ duty to guide them correctly. Hopefully the bar will understand its role in reduction of litigation and our country, after getting rid of these chains, will achieve its deserved positioning the world.

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He is pursuing UG Degree in Law from Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab.

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