India’s chief justice makes emotional plea for help with backlog

Indias-chief-justice-makes-emotional-plea-for-help-with-backlog.   DELHI, India,  India’s chief justice made an emotional plea Sunday for help with recruiting judges to tackle an “avalanche” of backlogged cases.

Indias-chief-justice-makes-emotional-plea-for-help-with-backlog
India’s Chief Justice TS Thakur broke down Sunday speaking about the massive backlog of judicial cases in his country and the desperate need for help to tackle the backed-up cases. Screen shot from NMF News.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The nation’s top justice, TS Thakur, appeared near tears when he asked how the country’s current 21,000 judges could cope with tens of millions of cases pending,BBC reported.

Thakur said a judge at India’s Supreme Court dealt with about 2,600 cases a year, compared with just 81 in the United States.

“It’s for development of this country that I beseech you to rise to the occasion,” not for special treatment of judges, he said speaking at a conference in Delhi. “You cannot shift the entire burden to the judiciary… There is a limit to judges’ capacity.”

He said people realize justice in India “continues to be an illusion.”

Thakur said the government should increase the number of judges to at least 40,000 as was recommended decades ago.

Nearly 30 years ago, a commission recommended a five-fold increase in the proportion of judges to people – but that never happened. He said there are 434 vacancies that need to be filled right away.

India has a notoriously slow legal system,. Court hearings can go for years or even decades before they take place. At the current rate, it would take about 30 years to clear only the criminal cases, experts say.

Thakur broke down in an unusual show of emotion during his speech in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts, ANI News reported. He pointed out that the successive governments had not acted on the judiciary’s demands. Thakur said the blame cannot be shifted to the judiciary, which is working under “very stressful conditions.”

Modi said the government would try to solve the problem.

By UPI Staff