We need to urgently increase the number of judges from the present strength of 21,000 to 40,000.
CJI T S Thakur today in an emotional and touching address, complained of “inaction” by the Executive on the issue of increasing the number of judges from the present strength of 21,000 to 40,000 in order to handle the “avalanche” of ever increasing litigations.
On his part Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured him all help and of his government’s resolve to find a solution to the problem jointly with the judiciary.
“…And therefore, it is not only in the name of a litigant or people languishing in jails (as UTPs and Convicts) but also in the name of development of the country, its over all progress that I beseech you to rise to the occasion and realise that it is not enough to criticise. You cannot shift the entire burden (of pendency) on the judiciary,” the Chief Justice of India said in a choking voice.
While addressing the inaugural session of the Joint Conference of Chief Ministers of States and Chief Justices of different High Courts, Justice Thakur stated that since 1987, when the Law Commission had recommended to increase in the strenght of judges from then 10 judges per 10 lakh people to a minimum of 50, “but nothing has moved”.
“Then comes inaction by the successive governments as the increase (in the strength of judges) does not take place,” he said. He said following the Law Commission’s strong recommendation, the Supreme Court too in 2002 had supported the required increase in the strength of judiciary.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee related to the Department of Law which was then headed by President Pranab Mukherjee had also recommended for taking the judge to people ratio to upto 50 from 10. As on today, the judge to people ratio in India stands at 15 judges to 10 lakh people which is way to less than as compared to the other nations like US, Australia, the UK and Canada.
“In year 1987, the requirement found was 40,000 judges. From 1987 till now, we have added 25 crore citizens in terms of our population. We have now grown into one of the world’s fastest growing economies, we are vigorously inviting foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country, we want people to come invest and make in India, we want people from all over the World to come and invest in India.
Those whom we are inviting to invest are also deeply concerned about the ability of our judicial system in the country to deal with the flood of cases and disputes that arise out of all such investments.
Efficacy of the judicial system in a Nation is so vitally connected with the development,” he said, referring to Modi government’s flagship programs ‘Make in India’ and ‘Ease of doing business’ campaigns.