Union law minister to focus on judicial reforms

HUBLI, July 4, 2009: Union law minister M Veerappa Moily on Saturday said the next five years will be an era of judicial reforms in the country. The central government is seriously considering certain concrete steps to improve the judicial service in the country.

In a bid to reduce the burden on courts and enable speedy dispensation of justice to the litigants the government will set up village courts.

Disclosing this at a function to mark the first anniversary of Karnataka High Court Circuit Bench here on Saturday, Mr Moily said the government had earmarked Rs 962 crore for setting up village courts.

The details will be worked out after discussing the matter with all the chief ministers under the leadership of the Chief Justice of India (CJI). He said there is need to fill the vacancies of judges in high courts in the country. As of now, there are 275 vacancies and the minister promised the fill them up in the next two years.

Mr Moily said 57 per cent of the pending cases were concerned to the government and the delay in disposing them of was due to apathy on the part of government officials. The respective state government’s should take the officials to task and ensure that the cases are disposed of soon, he said.

Permanent Bench

Referring to the demand for a permanent Bench of high court in Dharwad, he asked the state government to send a related proposal to the Centre. “Once the CJI approves the proposal, the government will sanction the permanent Bench of high court in a day,” Mr Moily said.

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He said that family courts will be set up in each district and each high court will have one commercial court in the country. Attention will be paid to increase the capacity of National Judicial Service.

Moily pointed out that high court Circuit Benches in Dharwad and Gulbarga are examples of concerted efforts on the part of legislature, executive and judiciary.

SC Bench at Bangalore

In response to the plea by chief minister B S Yeddyurappa to establish a Supreme Court Bench at Bangalore, Mr Moily said he would take up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“Planting of millions of saplings” has marked the first anniversary of the Circuit Bench of the High Court of Karnataka here on Saturday.

The Chief Minister B. S Yeddyurappa said 100 acres of land would be given to the Bar Association to construct a building. A sum of Rs. 25 crore would be released for the construction of the Bar building, he said.

Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka P.D. Dinakaran participated in the function.

Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan formally inaugurated the Circuit Bench last year. Of the 17,673 cases filed before the Circuit Bench, 9,710 have been disposed of.

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