New Delhi, Nov 26: Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia today said the entire judicial system cannot be brought to disrepute because of few erring judges.
“We do not mind studied and fair criticism but attempt should not be made to generalise the wrong doings by few,” Kapadia said on the occasion of the Law Day celebration here.
The CJI said anybody coming out with allegations against any member of the the judiciary should keep in mind that they have solid material to back it instead of painting everyone with the same brush.
“If you feel that a judge is corrupt then take a stand and name him in public and tell the Chief Justice instead of making a generalisation. But do not put all judges in one basket. Do not bring the entire judiciary in disrepute. Please do not dismantle the established system and institution unless and until you have something better to offer,” he further said.
Kapadia stressed the need for uplifting the integrity, excellence and competence of the judiciary, saying this would enable them to maintain the confidence and trust of the people.
“People have faith in judges and because of the wisdom of judges they rely in judiciary,” he said, adding the integrity of the judges is more important than the accountability.
“If judges are of integrity, they will not worry on accountability and the Judicial Accountability Bill,” he said. He said judicial independence is the most important aspect of the rule of the law and for that “we need public confidence and public trust”.
The CJI said awareness of rights have gone up and the nature of litigations particularly the PILs have undergone complete change which required a careful handling as the consequences of the judicial orders have far reaching consequences.
Justice Kapadia said the issues relating to pendency and arrears of cases have not been projected properly giving a “totally wrong impression that there have been millions of cases pending”.
“The pendency and arrears of the cases have not been to the extent as projected,” the CJI said.
He said he wanted to put the records straight and gave the figure of 56,383 matters as pending in the Supreme Court till November 1 this year.
Kapadia said arrears in High Courts and subordinate courts are to the tune of 3.19 crore in which 74 per cent cases are less than five years old.
The Chief Justice, who lauded the efforts of the apex court in the last one-and-half years in disposing of the cases, said there was a need to make distinction between the pending cases.
He said delay in the disposal of the matters was because of several factors like failure to remove the defects and objections by the advocates.
He said at present there are 40,000 cases which are pending in objection and some of them have been since 1994.
“There are 71 per cent of the cases in which services have not been completed or defects have not been removed and they are not ready for hearing,” the CJI said. He said there are only 8710 matters which are ready for hearing.
However, he said even the ready matters cannot be taken tomorrow and “you have to give some time to us” as on an average 710 days are taken to complete one matter. He said serious attention was needed for disposal of matters in High Courts and Subordinate Courts where 74 per cent of cases are less than five years old.
The CJI said he was of the view that those cases which are more than five years old and constitute 26 per cent should be taken on priority for which he has written letters to the Chief Justices of High Courts.
He said the cases falling under the Negotiable Instruments Act have been increasing and as per the data available there are 35 lakhs such cases pending in the subordinate judiciary and the reason for low disposal was incomplete service of summons in those cases.
The CJI said he has come out with suggestions that courts dealing with the NIA matters should be provided assistance of police station in the courts itself like other criminal cases.
He said attempt was being made to reduce the pendency and arrears of the cases and the judiciary was getting all support from the Government which had increased the allocation of funds manifold for upgrading the infrastructure.
“If this trend continues, we will be able to achieve if not zero pendency then at least the arrears should be wiped out,” he said.