What is the News?
The Prime Minister is attending the joint conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
What are the key highlights from the conference?
The Prime Minister remarked the following at the Conference
Release of Undertrials: There are over 3.5 lakh prisoners in jails today who are undertrials. A majority of these are poor or from ordinary families. There is a committee in every district headed by the district judge to look into this issue and wherever possible bail must be granted to them.
Promote local languages in the courts so that people of the country feel connected with the judicial process and their faith in the same increases.
Mediation as a tool for Pendency of Cases: Mediation is an important tool for the settlement of pending cases in the courts, especially at the local level. There is a thousand years old tradition of settlement of disputes through mediation in our society.
The Chief Justice of India remarked the following at the Conference
Reason for Huge Number of Cases: Governments were the biggest litigant accounting for 50% of all cases of which two-thirds related to land acquisitions.
Hence, blaming the legislature and executive, CJI said that if the laws are passed with clarity of thought and people’s welfare in mind, litigation will be minimized.
Improving Judicial Infrastructure: There is an urgent need for improving judicial infrastructure across the country. For this, the CJI proposal included the setting up of the State Judicial Infrastructure Development Authority (SJIDA) with CMs and CJs of HCs as members.
PIL misuse: CJI said the rise in frivolous litigation was a worry, particularly the misuse of the public interest litigation route which often became “personal interest litigation”.
The Law Minister remarked the following at the Conference
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary has been extended till 2025-26.
The following initiatives have been taken under the e-court Integrated Mission Mode Project,
– 18,735 courts across the country have been computerized to keep the justice system accessible to the common man through e-filing of cases and hearing through video conferencing.
– National Judicial data grid(NJDG) has been through which lawyers and litigants can access case status information.
– 17 Virtual Courts have been set up in 13 States/UTs which primarily deal with petty traffic offences.
For speedy resolution of commercial cases the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 was passed and again amended in 2018, which led to the establishment of “Dedicated Commercial Courts” for the first time in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru.
Source: The post is based on the article “PM inaugurates Joint Conference of Chief Ministers of States and Chief Justices of High Courts” published in PIB on 30th April 2022.