The Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra on Wednesday said that courts in the country lack basic infrastructure for judges, court staffs, and litigants, which ends up contributing to arrears and backlog of cases.
Speaking at the inaugural function of a new state-of-the-art block of the Delhi High Court, CJI Misra said that “the condition of infrastructure of the courts in India is not all rosy”.
“Courts in the country do not have basic facilities for litigants. Most subordinate courts lack basic infrastructure for judges, court staffs, and litigants,” he said, adding that this was the most important factor contributing, in a negative manner, to arrears and backlog of cases.
Referring to the ‘miniscule’ budgetary allocation to the judiciary each year, CJI Misra said that Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has “talked about thousands of crores (invested in judiciary), but I am not going to ask him about the percentage, or go by the percentage calculation of investment in judicial infrastructure”.
The CJI’s remarks came moments after Mr. Prasad had said that the Centre has contributed nearly half of the over ₹6,000 crore given for developing judicial infrastructure in the country since 1993-94 in the past three years only.
Differences among judges
Hinting at the unprecedented press conference by four senior judges of the top court in January against CJI Misra on allotment of sensitive cases, Mr. Prasad said that the differences among judges should be left to the “foresight and statesmanship” of the judiciary.
“There will be differences among judges. There have been in the past also. But let us trust the foresight and statesmanship of the judiciary itself to set those differences aside and resolve them. Political process should never intervene,” he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was also at the event, said the judiciary has, and should continue to, “rein in” the executive and the legislative whenever they “strayed from their path”.
Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Gita Mittal, said that creation of new judicial infrastructure, such as the newly built block, to meet the expanding needs of the justice dispensation system is essential to enable access to justice.