V.R. Krishna Iyer, former judge of the Supreme Court, has appreciated the decision of the Kerala High Court to work even on Saturdays to fulfill its commitment to the people.
In a letter to S. R. Bannurmath, the Chief Justice of the High Court of Kerala, Mr. Iyer said that the Court has done the right thing by taking the decision to sit on Saturdays.
Mr. Iyer said that the Indian justice system is perhaps the most pivotal of the instruments which represent the governance of the nation. One of the major misfortunes of the Indian judicial system has been the chronic arrears of cases all over the country. Justice delayed is justice denied. So it is the fundamental obligation of the Bench and the Bar to see that the arrears and the backlog of cases are cleared without delay. Inevitably, the decision to work on Saturdays becomes viable only if the bar also cooperates, Mr. Iyer said.
“I thought that the Bar of India has shown the way to liquidate mounting arrears. No democracy in the world has such a huge Himalayan pendency,” Mr. Iyer said.
“The executive is willing to sanction more courts and take any measure which will minimise the staggering arrears situation. If it comes to a crisis of non-cooperation, that will be a sad day for the justice system of India. I appeal to the lawyers of India to make Saturday sittings a fruitful method of tackling the awesome syndrome of old cases,” Mr. Iyer said in the letter.
If there is no response, the court may have to proceed on its own in ensuring fair play and democratic justice according to the settled principles. More courts may be necessary, he said.
“When I was Law Minister, a number of new courts were opened although the High Court at that time was a little hesitant. I proposed an addition of ten days more as working days to reduce the arrears. The High Court was not initially agreeable and I had to move an amendment to the Kerala High Court Act to make my proposal legal. Only then the High Court consented to the addition of ten days,” Mr. Iyer remembered.
“I look forward to a happy day when the bench and the Bar will work together and make the Saturday sitting project an efficient move towards early justice,” Mr. Iyer said.