Bengaluru, July 19: Pendency in courts is a major issue and there are millions of litigants who suffer due to this. However, when it comes to high profile cases such as the J Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case or the Salman Khan hit-and-run, they are taken out of turn and disposed off in no time.
Justice Santhosh Hegde, former judge of the Supreme Court feels that the Salman Khan and Jayalalithaa cases have given the judiciary a bad name.
He tells OneIndia that he in no way is questioning the judgment or the final outcome, but only the speed at which theese cases were taken out of turn and disposed off. "Does this happen because these are cases of the high and mighty," Justice Hegde questions.
Need to be fair while taking up cases
Justice Hegde says that there are so many cases that are pending in the court. Both the Supreme Court and the High Court should not be taking up cases out of turn.
"No one case is more important than the other. In the Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case, it was taken up both in the High Court and the Supreme Court out of turn and even disposed off," he says. (In the Jayalalithaa case, the arguments have concluded and verdict has been reserved).
"Even in the Salman Khan hit-and-run case, the matter was taken up so quickly by the Bombay High Court and disposed off. Why? Were there no other cases pending. What about those appeals pending for years? Are they less important," the former judge of the Supreme Court asks.
"Let us be fair to all cases and not decide on taking cases out of turn just because it involves the high and mighty or rich and famous. I have made this point several times in the past. Recently when the appeal in the Salman Khan case came up before the Supreme Court, they said it will not be taken out of turn. That should be the approach and I really laud the Supreme Court for it as it needs to hear all other pending cases which were filed before this one," Justice Hegde also points out.
Pendency in judiciary
"Everyday one speaks about pendency in the judiciary. It is a major issue no doubt and the vacancies need to be filled up. There is a back log of cases because there is a shortage of judges and they are unable to complete the back log. Now the posts are not being filled up because of confrontation between the judiciary and the government," Justice Hegde says.
He further points out that there should be timely appointments to the judiciary. "Delays always benefit one party and this automatically leads to frivolous litigation. I think we need to follow the American system where there is a trial and then an appellate court," he said.
The Supreme Court in America only deals with a larger question of law in America.
"While the confrontation between the government and the judiciary is leading to the delay as there are not enough judges, courts on the other hand should stop encouraging adjournments. All pleadings should be completed between the parties before they come to the court," says Justice Hegde.
"The court should start proceedings from the stage of framing of issues. I feel that this confrontation should end. Both should sit across the table and speak to iron out the differences," Justice Hegde notes.