Law Commission report recommends setting up of specialised courts

Law Commission of India has suggested the setting up of special morning and evening courts for dealing with traffic and police challan cases and a phased increase in the number of presiding officers of the various courts in the country, among other things, to speed up dispensation of justice in the country.

Law Commission chairman Justice Ajit Prakash Shah today submitted the commission's report, Manpower Planning in Judiciary: A Blue Print to minister of law and justice and communications and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Speaking on the occasion, Ravi Shankar Prasad said the report will guide the government in overcoming the shortage of judges in the judiciary. Efforts made by the government for filling up vacancies of judges and setting up new courts would soon lead to curbing of delays and timely delivery of justice to citizens, he said.  

He said the government has already written to Chief Justice of India for filling up the existing vacancies of High Courts and subordinate courts. The law minister assured Parliament that the government would give serious consideration to the recommendations of the commission and that it has already taken an in-principle decision to increase the number of judges by 20 per cent. 

Six states, including Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Odisha and Punjab, have already acceded to this request, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Law Commission chairman Justice Ajit Prakash Shah said the commission has tried to use scientific formula to the extent possible to estimate the number of judges needed in the country.

Some of the highlights of the conclusions and recommendations include:

  • Recruitment of new judges should focus, as a matter of priority, on the number of judges required to break even and to dispose of the backlog, in a 3-year time frame;
  • Age of retirement of subordinate judges be raised to 62;
  • Special morning and evening courts be set up for dealing with traffic / police challan cases, which constitute 38.7 per cent of the institutions and 37.4 per cent of all pending cases in the last three years before the subordinate judicial services;
  • Recent law graduates may be appointed for short durations, eg, three years, to preside over these special traffic courts;
  • Adequate provisions to be made for staff and infrastructure required for the working of additional courts; and
  • High courts to be directed to evolve uniform data collection and data management methods in order to ensure transparency and to facilitate data based policy prescriptions for the judicial system.

Creation of additional courts is one amongst various measures required to ensure timely justice and facilitate access to justice.

The commission said that apart from increasing judge strength, many other measures have to be undertaken for reducing delays, including the application of good judicial management practices such as putting into place timeliness and performance benchmarks.