Accord topmost priority to judicial reforms: jurist Salve

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Ahmedabad, Oct 7 (UNI) Wide ranging reforms in the judiciary and changes in infrastructure to provide timely justice to the people has become necessary, observed eminent jurist Harish Salve.

''In spite of a number of recommendations of the Law Commission, Parliamentary Committees and the Supreme Court, the action in this direction has remained insufficient.

If the courts continue to fail in providing timely justice to the people, there will be frustration among the people towards the judiciary and this will endanger the fabric of democratic society,'' said Mr Salve while speaking on 'Impediments and Solutions for Timely Justice' at a function organised by the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) in Ahmedabad yesterday.

''Judicial reforms should be included in political agenda of the country.

Also, the business community should mobilise its resources to spread mass awareness on judicial reforms, as the business community desires dispensation of fast justice,'' he said.

''During the last seven years from 1999 to 2006, the number of pending cases in various High Courts has increased from 27 lakh to 36 lakh and in subordinate courts, it has increased from 2.04 crore to 2.48 crore.

There is a necessity to increase the strength of the judges in various courts and there should be more disposal of cases by each judge to reduce the backlog,'' he said.

''In India, there are 10.5 judges per million people, as against 107 in the US.

The salaries of judges should be adequate enough to help them lead a comfortable life of upper middle class people.

However, regrettably, the total allocation of funds for reforms in the judiciary were less than one per cent in the 10th Five Year plan,'' Mr Salve said.

''There is no fear of law amongst the people.

On the contrary, criminalisation has crept into politics very heavily, which is very evident.

People have started losing respect for law and have started taking law into their own hands.

The recent examples in this regard are that of a rapist being lynched to death by a mob of enraged women in the court itself in Nagpur, as also the killing of several suspected thieves by villagers in Bihar,'' he added.

UNI

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