Chief justice worried over declining number of people approaching courts

May 23rd, 2009 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, May 23 (IANS) Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan Saturday expressed concern over the decline in the number of people approaching the courts in the last few years and urged them to seek the services of the judiciary for legitimate settlement of their cases.
“We are not worried with the number of cases in the court but are worried that people are not coming to the courts. There has been a decline in the number of civil cases. So people might be looking for some option other than judiciary to solve their conflict,” said Balakrishnan here.

“Are people looking for some extra-constitutional methods to solve the cases outside the court? If yes, then we are worried about that,” said Balakrishnan.

He added: “However, the best method to solve any case is only through judiciary and people should move towards court. Judiciary should work to maintain harmony throughout the country.”

Balakrishnan was in the city to inaugurate the Chandigarh Judicial Academy.

Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Tirath Singh Thakur and various judges of Supreme Court and other courts also attended the event.

The academy has been built over an area of 8.5 acres at the cost of Rs.628.2 million (Rs.62.82 crore) that has been equally contributed by the states of Punjab and Haryana.

“We were badly in need of a judicial training centre and (have) got a good centre here in Chandigarh. We will also establish it into a regional centre so that law officers from other states like Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi can also come here for training,” said Balakrishnan.

Balakrishnan said: “We want judicial training centres to enhance the analytical skills of the judges. These centres will inculcate the principles of basic human rights and constitutional values in the judges and teach them on how to deal efficiently with women related issues, HIV patients, socially deserted persons and how to sensitise them.”

About the pending cases, he said: “There are 1.62 crore (16.2 million) criminal cases pending in the courts and we have only 15,000 courts, which is not sufficient for a vast country like India. We need 10,000 more courts, I know that is not possible so we have to make optimum use of whatever we have.”

Balakrishnan also praised the working of National Judicial Academy of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

“National Judiciary Academy is doing a great job. Recently they have trained 1,500 law officers and we have taken the feedback from them about their problems, expectations and experience of study there. Now we would analyse it and modulate the academy accordingly.”

He said that presently only 85 percent capacity of the National Judicial Academy was being used and the aim is to increase it to 99 percent.

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