'Misgovernance' root cause of piling up court cases: CJ

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Kochi, Mar 1 (UNI) Mincing no words, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan today asserted that ''misgovernance'' of the country was the main cause of the piling up of cases in courts, with aggrieved persons seeking judicial remedy as a matter of course.

Delivering a special address at the 'Southern Region Workshop on Techniques and Tools for Enhancing Timely Justice'' here, the Chief Justice said ''maladministration'' of the country was resulting in people seeking judicial succour.

Citing the instance of the centuries-old Land Acqusition Act, Justice Balakrishnan said compensation was fixed under this by governments at some outmoded rate, forcing the people to knock the doors of courts for justice and suitable recompense.

''I have been suggesting that district-level, high-powered committees be set up to fix a reasonable amount of compensation for land acquired by the government. Then only maybe ten per cent of the cases will come to the courts. At present, they all land in the courts. The present system is encouraging litigation,'' he added.

Similarly, the courts were flooded with cases arising from the Motor Vehicles Accidents Claims Tribunal.

''Governance is not good in this country and we have to suffer all these cases because of this,'' the Chief Justice added.

The judiciary, however, was trying its best to deal with the situation in the face of limited infrastructure and facilities, he said.

Regional workshops, like the ongoing one in Kochi, were being held in different parts of the country to impart necessary skills and expertise to judicial officers to enhance the quality and speed of justice.

The Chief Justice also admonished the lawyers, especially those in North India, seeking frequent adjournments. According to a study, almost 40 per cent of the cases pending in courts in North India were about five-year old, he said.

Stating that people not only in the country, but also overseas had great faith in the Indian judicial system, the Chief Justice said according to a World Bank report, the independent and impartial judiciary in India had helped in the rapid economic growth in recent years.

Also present at the function were Supreme Court Justices S B Sinha and R V Raveendran, the Chief Justices of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir high courts, high court judges and judicial officers from the southern states, besides National Judicial Academy Director Prof Mohan Gopal.

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