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SC: Can a judge hear 300 cases a day?
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 5
“Can a judge hear 300 cases listed before him every day ?” was the poser of the Supreme Court to the Centre and state governments today while asking them why there was delay in putting in place the alternate dispute redressal mechanism as suggested by it in a judgement earlier. The court said a judge was also a human and no prudent man could be expected to apply his mind in every case if he had to attend 300 cases a day.

Putting in place an alternate dispute redressal (ADR) mechanism was urgently needed otherwise the “judicial system will collapse,” a Bench of Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, Mr Justice C K Thakker and Mr Justice Markandey Katju said.

Mr Justice Katju said from his experience he knew that before a judge in the state nearly 300 cases were listed for hearing a day.

The court was hearing a petition of a Bar Association from Tamil Nadu, seeking to implement the ADR proposal, which in principle were accepted by the government and reminded it of inadequate infrastructure even with the existing judicial system.

“The financial backing are meager,” the court said adding that this issue was of “great public interest”.

Solicitor General G E Vahanvati said that the government was “very keen” to implement it and the Law Minister was taking personal interest in it and the matter has been sent to PMO for final decision.

He also said that the Planning Commission was being persuaded to provide financial back-up to the proposal to create adequate infrastructure in each state for implementing the ADR system.

The court allowed the Centre four weeks’ time to respond.

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