More evening courts to be opened: K.G. Balakrishnan

Special Correspondent

Such courts had been started in New Delhi and Gujarat

The courts work from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; lawyers with under 7 years’ standing can practise there

The aim is to ensure that daily wage earners involved in petty cases do not lose their wages

KOCHI: Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan said here on Saturday that more evening courts would be set up in the country.

He was inaugurating a three-day training programme in mediation for judicial officers and lawyers organised by the Supreme Court, the Kerala High Court, the Kerala State Legal Services Authority and the Kerala Judicial Academy.

Mr. Balakrishnan said evening courts had been started in New Delhi and Gujarat. In November, he had suggested setting up one in Bangalore on finding 1.56 lakh cases pending in the city courts. The Karnataka government readily agreed to his suggestion and promised to pay incentives for the judicial officers working in the evening court.

He said the evening courts worked from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and lawyers with less than seven years’ standing were allowed to practise there. The prime objective of these courts were to ensure that daily wage earners involved in petty cases, such as traffic rule violations, did not lose their wages by attending the ordinary courts. He said the number of cases was increasing because of the people’s confidence in the judiciary.

Mediation training

Presiding over the meeting, J.B. Koshy, Acting Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, said that mediation could effectively reduce the number of pending cases. Training in mediation was essential for those who undertook it to prepare parties to settle cases on their own.