Judiciary is the Third Estate of a democratic state. This explains its importance and role in preserving and promoting democracy. However, in some way, judiciary is to be distinguished from other two organs. It lies in its independent status in the discharge of its duties. However, that does not mean any break in the linkage.
A problem common to all courts in all states of the country is that of pendency. It means accumulation of cases to the dimension that the existing number of courts cannot cope with these at all. This issue has been extensively discussed by the Supreme Court and almost all High Courts in different States of the Union including the High Court in our State. Keeping this in mind, last year the Union Law Ministry organized a meeting of the Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of the States. It was given the name of CMCJ Conference. The agenda of the conference encompassed a number of judiciary related issues commonly faced by all states. Obviously some significant and far reaching resolutions were adopted in this high level meeting in which country’s political and legal luminaries had assembled with the clear cut objective of giving quick and equitable justice to the people of the country. Most of the recommendations made in the conference were to be considered and implemented by the States. We learn that almost all states except J&K have worked towards the implementation of the recommendations and of any of the recommendations could not be implemented so far, they are working towards their implementation.
It is regrettable that our State should have lagged behind all the other states of the Union in a task that has been detailed by the most powerful body. The Chief Minister and the Chief Justice of the State were part of the body that made the recommendations. This makes it mandatory for the State to immediately address the stipulated recommendations and implement them. State judiciary has not seen a minimum increase of 10 percent per year in the cadre strength of district judiciary in accordance with the judgment of the Supreme Court in Brij Mohan Lal Versus Union of India. Four new courts were created recently whereas the need is for seven courts. The four new courts handle only cases pertaining to harassment of women. Even commercial courts have not been created in all the districts and only powers have been conferred on the District Judges and this step is not helping in achieving the objective of reducing the pendency. State has not taken any step for sanctioning of posts of whole time Secretaries for all District Legal Services Authorities (DLSAs) so as to lesson burden on the District Judges.
In final analysis, we expect the Government to fully respond to the recommendations of the CMCJ conference and not become an isolated case of non compliance as that would be detrimental to the efficiency of our judiciary.