Supreme Court: Recent Reform Proposals

Today’s report in Times of India on the Law Ministry’s consideration of the proposal to reform the Supreme Court is confusing. It wrongly suggests that the Law Commission has recommended setting up of four Supreme Courts in metros and a Federal Court in Delhi, and that this has been endorsed by the CJI. The Law Commission considered the issue in its 229th Report, and recommended setting up of 4 Cassation Courts, and a Constitution Bench in Delhi with the existing strength of the Supreme Court. That is, the 4 Cassation Courts will have six Judges each, and the remaining will sit on the CB in Delhi. The Law Commission said this can be done under Article 130.

The CJI in fact, opposed this proposal. Read this recent interview to the Hindu, where he clearly makes the distinction between SC Benches and 4 full-fledged Supreme Courts including the one at New Delhi with the proposed Constitutional Court in New Delhi exercising third appellate jurisdiction, apart from hearing Constitutional matters.

PIL Reform: Readers are welcome to read the Supreme Court’s recent judgment in State of Uttaranchal v. Balwant Singh Chaufal (linked on the sidebar under SC Judgments) wherein the SC has laid down certain guidelines to entertain PILs – the subject on which we have carried several posts earlier (under the label, Public Interest Litigation)

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1 comment
  • Would prosecuting and punishing persons for perjury (false evidence) improve our legal system? Many similar questions pertaining to Indian courts arise in the minds of aggrieved person in the country, but he finds no solution other than bearing with injustice.

    Judicial reformation has not taken place during last six decades despite several promises made by prominent leaders. At least during last ten fifteen years many stalwarts like Mr. Mr. Advani, Arun Jaitley of BJP, Manmohan Singh, Mr. Bhardwaj law Minister, Mr. Singhwi of Congress Party or Mr. Somnath Chatterjee of CPM or Lalu Yadav of RJD and even retired judges and Chief Justice of India have expressed the need of judicial reform in the country but all failed to make it a reality.

    Judicial reforms include many ideas like Prosecuting and punishing persons for perjury or providing protection to witness exposing the truth, eliminating the chance of backtracking by a witness from written or oral evidences given by him in any court, punishing false complainers, expediting court proceedings to ensure time bound delivery of justice , punishing judges who give adjournment after adjournment to give comfort to one party or the other after taking bribe, making advocates accountable and punishable and so on …

    If above mentioned ideas and many other similar contemplated amendments are made and executed honestly; it will be complete change the picture in Indian courts and police stations. But unfortunately no concrete steps have so far been taken. Only task force committees are formed, reports are submitted, debates take place and finally the issue of judicial reformation and promise of shortening delay in justice are kept in abeyance.

    This is why crime graph of India is increasing day by day, year after year. This is also a bitter truth and open secret that police do not register FIR in Thana only to show false and fabricated improvement in crime situation of an area. This is the primary reason that Bhopal Gas case , Bofors case, Telgi stamp scam, Arushi Murrder case, Ruchika suicide case ,Babri demolition or Godhra Hatyaknad case or 1984 sick riot cases , Lalu’s chara Ghotala case and many more similar but important cases have been pending in Indian courts for two decades and more.

    If by any legal amendments our country is able to create fear in the minds of wrong doers I think there will be complete turnaround in law and order position of the country and there will be definite reduction in the acts of Naxal oriented extremism or foreign based terrorism. It is pity that in our country criminal are not afraid of legal system; it is only innocents who avoid going in courts or police stations to lodge their grievances in fear of repercussions.