Speedy justice: Onus on lawyers

IN his article “Ensuring speedy and affordable justice” (Perspective, Sept. 26), Mr Santokh Singh Sahi has suggested some remedies for expediting justice. However, it is doubtful whether we can implement them. He has suggested the US system but is it possible in India where the lawyer takes his full fee first while accepting the brief from a client, and then keep on demanding money now and then for one reason or the other?

Most civil writ petitions (CWPs) are either dismissed or settled on the first or second hearing. Yet, a mediocre lawyer practising in service cases, demands a fee of Rs 44,000 to Rs 55,000 for a CWP. It could be much higher for the criminal cases. Imagine what fee would lawyers charge if the responsibility of inquiry/investigation, framing of issues/charges; recording of evidence, and arbitration, out-of-court settlement of cases is shouldered by them.

Most cases, even after years, keep coming on the cause-lists because the lawyers do not appear for final arguments, come unprepared and take adjournment dates themselves.

Even for supplying a copy of the judgement of a lost case, the lawyers demand Rs 200 instead of Rs 20. Some lawyers don’t return the brief easily. No doubt, the lawyers are an essential part of the justice delivery system, but often the litigants find themselves between the devil and the deep sea.

K.C. GUPTA, Kurali (Ropar)


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030.

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Heavy pendency of cases in courts is the symptom of a judiciary in hibernation. No doubt, norms have been fixed for disposal of cases by judges. But then, a majority of cases are literally ‘disposed of’, not decided, which unnecessarily multiplies litigation.

For instance, where a lower court verdict is upheld by the High Court and the Supreme Court without recording a detailed judgement order, it is not followed as a precedent even by the lower judiciary on identical facts and circumstance. This not only generates avoidable multiplicity of litigation, which is a major source of accumulation of case work, but also creates chaos in the area of case law. This unhealthy practice should stop and all precedents must be followed scrupulously.

VISHWA MITRA, Advocate, Panipat


The common man is crying for speedy justice but procedural wrangles have made it out of his reach. The cumbersome and costly system discourages even the genuine sufferer to go in for it under normal conditions. Let alone important cases, even general cases take decades to be decided. The judiciary took 14 years to hang a rapist in Kolkata recently.

We have been following meekly the Indian Penal Code evolved by the British centuries ago. We are woefully inefficient to incorporate new laws with drastic changes keeping in view the changing times. Why not follow the time-tested US system? Lok Adalats are a step in the right direction, but due to in-built shortcomings, it is losing steam gradually.

Litigation is costly for the people but immensely lucrative for the lawyers. The reforms suggested by Mr Sahi need to be incorporated in the Indian Penal Code to speed up the justice delivery system.

KARNAIL SINGH, Shahpur Kandi

Memories of Lahore

Apropos of Rajan Kashyap’s “Lahore, memory and desire” (Spectrum, Sept 19), the writer has not mentioned the graveyard of queen Noorjahan, located at a deserted place near railway track between Shahdara and Lahore. When I visited this place, I was reminded of a few couplets written about this graveyard, which read:

Bar mazare ma gariban ne chirage ne gule

Ne pare parwana sozad ne sadai bulbule

(On the graveyards of us, the poor, no lamps are burning and there are no offerings of flowers, neither the flying insects are burning their wings nor are there echoes of any nightingale).

Yahan to din ko bhi shab ki syahi ka saman hai

Kahte hain ke ye aaram gahe malikae Noorejahan hai

(Here darkness of night appears even during daytime and they say it is the resting place of queen Noorjahan). The write-up evoked memories of days of yore.




Living longer

This refers to Khushwant Singh’s “Who live longer” (Saturday Extra, Sept 4) where he says that in India, the rich outlive the poor by many years. In this connection, I want to share with the readers of The Sunday Tribune a tailpiece:

“He brushed his teeth twice a day. The doctors examined him twice a year. He stuck to a diet with plenty of fresh vegetables. He never smoked, drank or lost his temper. He got at least eight hours of sleep at night.

The funeral will be next Wednesday. He is survived by 18 specialists, four health institutes and numerous manufacturers of health foods and antiseptics.

He forgot about the railway level crossing”.

O.P. SHARMA, Faridabad


Age is less a matter of time than a state of mind. Experts agree that a moderate lifestyle leads to a ripe old age. Given a sensible diet, backed by medical care, an average person can look forward to a life of over 70 years and reasonably good health.

An American survey of 402 people all over 95 years showed that the happy old people had these things in common: They worked at jobs they liked, they did not fuss over food and they never overate. They did plenty of exercise. They had creative hobbies. Last, but not the least, they refused to get worried.

K.M. VASHISHT, New Delhi

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