New Delhi, March 27 (ANI): Expressing concern over the backlog of thousands of cases across the country, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday said he has urged the state governments to initiate action for the immediate execution of the Gram Nyayalaya Act, which in turn, will result in 5,000 rural courts functioning at the village level for speedy justice.
In his inaugural address at a national convention on 'Law and Justice and the Common Man' in the national capital today Dr. Singh noted that arrears and backlog of cases at every judicial level, saying it diminished the strength of the Indian judicial system.
"The Indian legal and judicial system in some sense reflects a great contradiction. Our democracy and our legal system and our judicial system have strengths that are admired all over the world. We have a free press, a truly independent judiciary and independent institutions like the Election Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, which underpin our democratic framework. The quality of our lawyers is reflected in the innovative legal and precepts that they have helped to establish over a period of time. However, all these strengths are somewhat diminished by the arrears and backlog of cases at every level of our judicial system," said Dr. Singh.
"I have urged state governments to initiate immediate action to operationalise this Act (Gram Nyayalaya to mean village courts) in their states. Once the Act is fully implemented, we will have more than 5,000 courts at the immediate Panchayat (rural) level. These will bring justice to the doorstep of common people," Manmohan Singh added.
He further said his government has decided to set up 71 additional Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) courts in different states.
Congress party President Sonia Gandhi said every State government should ensure that their legislative agenda has at its core, a genuine concern for the well being of the common man.
"It is, therefore, the responsibility of every government to ensure that their legislative agenda has at its core, a genuine concern for the well-being of the common man that is reflected in their hopes and their aspirations," Mrs. Gandhi said.
Official figures say that there are over 310 million cases pending across the country.
The rural courts will deal with cases at a level below the subordinate courts but in the same capacity.
The Gram Nyayalaya Act provides for first class judicial magistrates dispensing justice. Judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) will be posted at the rural courts and will be called yaya Adhikaris. (ANI)