Courts: Why not operate like Hospitals!

There is a news today that the Chief Justice of India RM Lodha has stated that Indian courts are over-burdened and he apparently does not see a way out of this under the current operating system.

As hospitals work round the year to bring succor to those suffering, so should courts work round the year to bring justice to those suffering. Is this something too much of an expectation? Chief Justice RM Lodha had submitted a proposal wherein the courts would function throughout the year, without increasing workload and overtime for judges, but bar bodies and Bar Council of India were not keen on this, saying they could not work those many days. I think, time has come that justice system emulates hospital systems and function FULL TIME on all working days of a year. After all, it is about alleviating pain of a sufferer without the use of scalpel and blade!

India has an extreme  over burden of pendency of court cases, resulting in ineffective justices for many. We need speedy justice and that is only possible by having adequate courts and justices. At the same time, strengthen criminal justice system at the local level so that affected parties do not have to necessarily escalate their grievances to the upper courts. I agree to a large extent with Justice RM Lodha’s observation that in the current system, Supreme Court has become more of a court of appeals, rather than discharging its duty as a primary constitutional court.

Needless to say, in the criminal justice system, good value-systems, stringent and effective laws, modern professional policing, social dispute redressal (Lok Adalats) also play a great role so that disputes are settled before even reaching the courts. Or, shall I say, lesser disputes arise if there is a more tranquility and harmony in the society.

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