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ARTICLE: Steps Being taken to Strengthen the Judicial System
Monday, 10 June 2013 04:12

Steps Being taken to Strengthen the Judicial System

The recent Conference of Chief Ministers of States and Chief Justices of High Courts, held in April, 2013 in New Delhi, discussed steps required to reduce pendency of cases in courts, their speedy trial including through setting up of Fat Track Courts and morning/evening/shift/holiday/special courts, sensitization of judiciary on gender issues, computerization of courts including the establishment of a National Judicial Data Grid, All India Judicial Service, filling up of vacancies in courts, development of infrastructure of courts, strengthening of Legal Aid Services, Alternate Dispute Redress mechanism and Juvenile Justice System etc.

The Conference made a number of decisions. It was resolved that the State Governments would, in consultation with the respective High Courts, take steps to establish Fat Tract Courts for handling cases involving offences against women, children, differently disabled persons, senior citizens and marginalized sections of society and would provide funds for this purpose. In order to narrow down judge-population ratio, the State Governments in consultation with Chief Justices will take requisite steps for creation of new posts of judicial officers at all levels with support staff and requisite infrastructure. It would take urgent steps to fill vacancies in the subordinate courts.

It has been left to the State Governments and the High Courts to decide on the establishment of Gram Nyayalayas, wherever feasible as well as consider establishment and continuation of morning/evening/shift/holiday/special courts after taking into account geographical and other conditions. It has also been decided that the formation of All India Judicial Service needs further deliberation and consideration.

Central Government will continue to provide funds for infrastructure development of the subordinate judiciary, for which a provision of Rs. 4,867 crore has been made in the 12th Five Year Plan. The Government is fully funding the e-Courts Mission Mode Project under which 14,249 District and subordinate Courts are being computerized by 31st March 2014, out of which 12,233 courts have already been computerized by 31st March, 2013.

Government has also approved making available up to Rs. 80 crore per annum on a matching basis upto 31/3/2015 from out of the amount allocated (Rs. 500 crore per annum) for morning/evening/shift courts in the 13th Finance Commission Award for judiciary, for meeting the expenditure on 10% additional positions of judges to be created in the State Judicial Services in pursuance of the judgement of the Supreme Court in Brij Mohan Lal Case.