Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi on Thursday took charge as the new Attorney General and made a strong pitch for a multi-pronged approach to reduce backlog of cases by increasing number of court working days and fixing a time limit for advocates to argue the case.
A noted corporate lawyer, the 59-year-old Mr. Rohatgi, who will have a three year term, said there is a need to change the mind set of bureaucrats who, instead of taking decisions, leave it to the courts to decide all contentious issues.
“Leave it to the court to decide, these attitudes have to be changed,” he said, adding, “Image of the judiciary is sagging and you have to shake every part of the judicial functioning and redundant laws and procedures in criminal laws have to be shed.”
Speaking to reporters, he said number of holidays should be scaled down and also favoured setting up of National Judicial Commission for the appointment of judges.
He said for 40 years it was the government that was appointing the judges and then for 20 years collegium system is in operation and now there is a need to have another experiment.
He said in no other country cases dragged on for so many years without any conclusion and suggested that lawyers should be asked to complete their arguments within a stipulated time period.
Mr. Rohatgi, son of former Delhi High Court judge Justice Awadh Behari Rohatgi, has represented Gujarat government in the Supreme Court in the 2002 Gujarat riots and fake encounter death cases, including the Best Bakery and Zahira Sheikh cases.
He said Supreme Court should be restored the status for which it was set-up and not every case should travel to apex court.
He also favoured senior lawyers being consulted before the appointment of judges.
Mr. Rohatgi had also served as an Additional Solicitor General during previous NDA regime.