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19th December 2022 (7 Topics)

India’s crushing court backlogs, out-of-the-box reform


This article discusses the continuing issue of pendency, delays in the justice delivery system, and the possible solution available with existing resources.

Losing resources from the High Court, Supreme Court (SC)

  • Difficulty in finding talent: Talented judges retire from the High Court for reaching the age of 62. Continuing them with pay and perquisites would have served as a solution.
  • Bringing back retired SC judges: They can be helpful in hearing the admission of Special Leave Petitions and clearing the biggest clog to justice in the SC.
  • Scope for Flexibility: Experienced High Court senior advocates can sit as judges once a week to hear matters from another State High Court.

Strengthen online justice and mediation

  • Cultivate online justice: The courts responded splendidly to the COVID-19 shutdown by harnessing online facilities. But gradually we are moving back to physical hearings.
  • Employ mediation: If planned well, we have the capacity to lift half the load of civil, commercial, property, and matrimonial disputes off court dockets and onto mediation tables.
  • Indian Mediation Service: It can be created along the lines of the judicial service. Both incentives and disincentives must be devised for the litigants to try this consensual method in good faith.
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