New Delhi,Law Commission of India today submitted its report “Manpower Planning in Judiciary: A Blue Print” to Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law & Justice and Communications & IT.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the report will guide the Government in overcoming the shortage of judges in the judiciary. Efforts made by the Government for filling up vacancies of judges and setting up new courts would soon lead to curbing of delays and timely delivery of justice to citizens. Government has already written to Chief Justice of India for filling up the existing vacancies of High Courts and subordinate Courts. Law Minister gave the assurance that the Government would give serious consideration to the recommendations of the Report and in principle decision has already been taken to increase the number of judges by 20 per cent. Six States in India: Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Odisha and Punjab have already acceded to this request.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Ajit Prakash Shah, Chairman, Law Commission of India, said that the Commission has tried to use scientific formula to the extent possible to estimate the number of judges needed in the country.
Some of the highlights of the conclusions and recommendations are as below:-
i) Recruitment of new judges should focus, as a matter of priority, on the number of judges required to breakeven and to dispose of the backlog, in a 3 year time frame;
ii) Age of retirement of Subordinate judges be raised to 62
iii) Special morning and evening Courts be set up for dealing with Traffic/ Police Challan cases which constitute 38.7% of the institutions and 37.4% of all pending cases in the last three years before the Subordinate Judicial Services.
iv) Recent law graduates may be appointed for short durations, e.g. 3 years, to preside over these special traffic Courts.
v) Adequate provisions be made for staff and infrastructure required for the working of additional Courts.
vi) High Courts be directed to evolve uniform data collection and data management methods in order to ensure transparency and to facilitate data based policy prescriptions for the judicial system.
vii) Creation of additional Courts is one amongst various measures required to ensure timely justice and facilitate access to justice. The Commission recognizes that apart from increasing judge strength, many other measures have to be undertaken for reducing delays, including the application of good judicial management practices such as putting into place timeliness and performance benchmarks.