Devising strategies for better management of cases

We must shun the habit of putting every sort of blame on our judicial process in not having disposal of cases expedited. The reasons for prolonged litigations, entangled procedural delays hence cases piling up are many for which a rethinking , evolving strategies and devising better ways to present , handle and follow up cases in the courts is required now as never before. We know a large number of court cases emanate from the Government due to certain decisions felt or taken as unfavourable by the ”aggrieved” parties or the claim of denial of the rightful dues of various hues from the Government to individuals or groups of individuals , therefore, the Government (Departments) facing the judicial process both as petitioner as well as respondent means, as a natural corollary, number of cases to be handled by its Law Officers. However, it would be quite interesting to note, as to generally speaking, what remains the status of these cases and whether they are handled quite professionally and meticulously by the Law Officers who are assigned the duty by the Government to file and pursue such cases in the courts.
Well, the observation and facts reveal not an overall satisfactory picture. Delays are caused and what more disturbing could it be than delays taking place in deciding the cases. Justice delayed is basically compared with justice denied and verily , therefore, the High Court has rightly advised the Government to come up with a better plan which would revolve around the premise of avoiding delays in disposal of cases. The question , therefore, is that should the entire process right from the way and the manner of allocations of cases to Law Officers to follow up and to the stage of the decision conveyed, be looked into afresh with intent to minimise , if not avoid altogether, the delays caused.
The court having advised the Government on these lines and specifically what ought to be done is really commendable and must be followed in letter and spirit. Allot rather assign one court to each Government counsel and irrespective of which particular department or wing, is what the court has suggested to the Government. What that entails is that the concerned counsel may not as such be required to run from one to the other court to attend to such cases thus not being in a position to attending wholeheartedly all the cases entrusted to him/ her by the prevalent system. Not only that in such circumstances where the concern of the Law Officer/ Counsel remains confined to a particular court only the court may,therefore, get due and required ”assistance” from such counsel to help in cutting on delays and deciding cases expeditiously.
It may be reiterated that the Government both as petitioner as well as respondent , as the case may be , is entitled to the right to a speedy trial but inept handling and pursuing of cases by its counsels/law officers often lead to considerable delays. The fact that despite several statutes providing for time schedules for disposal of cases , yet the same remains unfulfilled and thus remaining a distant dream. Delays cause piling of cases undecided, delays cause more costs and avoidable expenses, delays cause anguish and perpetual tension, delays cause a feeling to be nursed about justice denied thus requiring rescheduling, revamping , relocating and rethinking to come up with better plans and strategies even we can call these as small reforms.
Not that the robust judicial system is not aware of the phenomenon and till the system is bettered through a legislation , there are several guidelines through judgments of High Courts and Supreme Court that can be relied upon for cutting on delays and expediting trials/ hearings . The suggestions / guidelines from the High Court in respect of assigning one court to one Government counsel resulted due to a case in respect of Pahalgam Devlopment Authority where the court observed that the counsel though present in the concerned court had the file with some other counsel attending to a case in another court. Simple issues or problems require simple solutions and if not done in the nick of time, may lead to complex issues requiring complex solutions. It is, as such , time to rethinking, redefining and rescheduling to take place to achieve better results on the ground. The suggestions of the High Court, therefore, are worth to be strictly followed.