CJI Appeals To End ‘Tareekh Pe Tareekh’ Culture

Date:

KD NEWS SERVICE

NEW DELHI, Mar 2: Expressing his concerns over the pendency of cases in the judiciary, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud has once again called upon the judges to end the “tarikh pe tarikh” culture and put an end to the normalisation of adjournment.

The CJI further said that the backlog and pendency of cases present a formidable challenge to the efficient administration of justice and the timely resolution of legal disputes.

Addressing the All India District Judges Conference in Kachchh in Gujrat, CJI Chandrachud said that the perception of common people who think that adjournment has become a part of the judicial system is ‘disheartening’.

“Common citizens feel that adjournment has become a part of the judicial system. This perception is disheartening, as adjournments, which were never intended to be commonplace, have now become normalised within the judicial process,” he said.

CJI also spoke about social media and appealed not to be influenced by them, external pressures or public opinions.

“Now, as we are talking about the realm of technology, I would like to address another contemporary challenge: the influence of social media. In recent times, there has been a noticeable increase in judges facing criticisms and commentary on social media platforms. And let me tell you, I have had my fair share of scrutiny too! Even if I say just a single word on the bench, it seems to get reported faster than a speeding bullet. But should we, as judges, be unduly affected by this? The role of a judge is to dispense justice impartially, without being swayed by external pressures or public opinions,” CJI said.

Acknowledging that the courts nationwide are grappling with a significant backlog and an alarming level of pending cases, he said, “This backlog and pendency of cases present a formidable challenge to the efficient administration of justice and the timely resolution of legal disputes.”

He further said that addressing the backlog and pendency of cases requires a multi-faceted approach encompassing systemic reforms, procedural enhancements.

He also appealed that judges have to be conscious of this fact, because, while even one adjournment might look like a routine affair, it can have severe ramifications for the litigants.

“Consider, for instance, the plight of a farmer entangled in a property dispute–a scenario all too common. Often, the outcome of the legal battle never comes to light during the farmer’s lifetime. Instead, the burden falls upon their legal heirs, who find themselves embroiled in protracted legal proceedings long after their loved one’s passing,” he said.

He also said that the judicial system should not wait for citizens to die for their case to be decided by a court of law.

“Imagine a victim of sexual assault whose case remains unresolved in the courts for several years. Isn’t this a clear violation of their fundamental right to access justice? The concept of access to justice should extend beyond mere access to the courts; it should also guarantee that citizens receive timely judgements from courts of law,” the CJI remarked.

CJI also said that he is present among the judicial officers of the district judiciary from across the country who form the backbone of our legal system.

“By organising this conference, we celebrate the commitment and role of our district judiciary. At the same time, we have gathered here to hear directly from judicial officers about what affects the working of the district judiciary and how we can improve it. After all, solutions to large problems emerge through direct conversations with the stakeholders,” CJI asserted.

The CJI also said that the district judiciary needs to constantly reflect and evolve its work so that the faith of citizens is maintained.

The CJI also pointed out the rising apprehension that district courts are increasingly reluctant to entertain matters concerning personal liberty.

“The longstanding principle that “bail is the rule, jail is the exception” seems to be losing ground, as evidenced by the growing number of cases reaching the High Courts and the Supreme Court as appeals against the rejection of bail by trial courts. This trend warrants a thorough re-evaluation. I want to hear from our district judges why this trend is emerging across the country,” CJI said. (Agencies)

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