Pendency of cases major issue, problem intensifying in absence of infra: CJI

Chief Justice of India CJI N V Ramana Tuesday said the pendency of cases is a major issue in India and the problem is intensifying in the absence of adequate infrastructure and a sufficient number of judges with the increasing workload.The CJI said an issue that has been affecting court systems across the world relates to the fact that decisions within the regular courts take a long time.


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 05-07-2022 20:28 IST | Created: 05-07-2022 20:28 IST
Pendency of cases major issue, problem intensifying in absence of infra: CJI
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Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana Tuesday said the pendency of cases is a “major issue” in India and the problem is “intensifying” in the absence of adequate infrastructure and a sufficient number of judges with the increasing workload.

The CJI said an issue that has been affecting court systems across the world relates to the fact that decisions within the regular courts take a long time. “There is no denying that pendency of cases is a major issue in India. Reasons for this include growth of the Indian economy, population, rising awareness about rights, etc,” Justice Ramana said while delivering the inaugural address at a conference on ‘Arbitrating Indo-UK Commercial Disputes’ in London. “In the absence of infrastructure and the sufficient number of judges commensurate with the increasing workload, the problem is intensifying. This is why I have been strongly advocating for transforming and upgrading the judicial infrastructure in India, as well as filling up of judicial vacancies and augmenting the strength,” he said. Justice Ramana said after he assumed the office of the CJI, in addition to filling up 11 vacancies in the apex court, the collegium could secure the appointment of 163 judges to various high courts. “23 more recommendations are pending with the government. The central government is yet to transmit another 120 names received from various high courts to the Supreme Court collegium. I have been reminding the government to expedite the process so that the remaining 381 vacancies can be reduced considerably. I am hoping for some forward movement in this regard,” he said. Justice Ramana said another way of reducing the burden of pendency is to promote and popularise other means of dispute resolution, such as arbitration or mediation. “In fact, throughout my professional legal career, I have been a strong advocate of dispute settlement mechanisms that do not require litigants to face traditional litigation,” he said. The CJI said India is rated to be one of the fastest-growing economies and apart from ease of enforcement, another advantage for choosing India as a favoured investment destination is its judicial system. “Both the legal systems in India and the United Kingdom are known for giving paramount importance to the rule of law. Both nations share a similar legal culture, where courts are known and respected as independent institutions. Apart from this, the investors would be entering into a common familiar legal field as both nations follow the common law system. Laws on important issues are often convergent between both nations,” he said. He said parliament had amended the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996 in 2015, 2019, and 2021 and the main objective was to streamline the dispute resolution process by fixing strict timelines and reducing judicial interference. “The much-appreciated changes were introduced in the form of no automatic stay of the arbitral award upon the challenge to award, recognition of emergency awards, and shift to institutional arbitration,” the CJI said during the event which was also attended by Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and others. He said the courts are pro-arbitration in India and from the reference stage to enforcement, the courts are fostering an environment where arbitral institutions and the autonomy of the arbitrator are respected. Justice Ramana said different state governments in India are taking active steps in establishing international arbitration centers, keeping in view the global trends. “The aim is to set up professionally run arbitration and mediation institutions in India along the lines of the LCIA or the Singapore International Arbitration Centre,” he said, adding, “Ultimately, the presence of modern infrastructure, with a global outlook, will attract both domestic and foreign parties to seek resolution of their disputes.” Justice Ramana said that the presence of international arbitration centers will not only boost India’s global position as an investor-friendly nation but also will facilitate the growth of a robust legal practice. “Personally, I think it is the era of institutional arbitration and mediation in India. To catch up to the developed world, world-class arbitration and mediation centres need to be set up and promoted,” he said. The CJI said that London has been the financial hub of the world and the historical trade and commercial ties between India and the United Kingdom need no reiteration. He said presently, India stands as the UK’s 12th largest trading partner and in 2020, the foreign direct investment (FDI) from the UK to India was 14.9 Billion Pounds. “During the same period, FDI in the UK from India was 10.6 billion pounds. The recent India-UK Free Trade Agreement will pave a new path for future investments,” he said. The CJI thanked the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA) for hosting the event.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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