How to reduce huge backlog of cases

I read R.D. Sharma’s article, “Burden of backlog” (Sunday Oped) and letters on the subject. Though millions of cases are pending, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary don’t seem to be bothered. I offer some suggestions.

The vacancies of judges should be filled at the earliest. If necessary, let more posts be created. In this context, Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice V.K. Jain has set a unique example. The judges’ salaries must be raised suitably to act as incentive.

The admission/motion stage should be changed in the apex and high courts and the procedure in other countries and in our National Consumers’ Disputes Redressal Commission should be adopted. Only the petitions seeking bail, stay or other urgent national or state matter be put up before the administration bench.


Over 50 per cent cases pending in all the courts are between the Centre, states and their employees. The State Administrative Tribunals on the pattern of CAT should be appointed with a National Administration Commission for appeals from SATs and CAT.

The traffic matters should be transferred to the executive side. Serve summons through post offices only and not through court peons. This is the basic cause of delays and corruption. Mobile courts as in Punjab are a must.

Cut down adjournments in the apex and high courts. In the distinct courts, there may be more than two adjournments in any case and if advocates seek undue adjournments, levy high costs.

R.S. BHALLA, Malerkotla


Apart from unfilled vacancies and too many holidays, there is another major factor for the huge backlog of cases in courts. It is the lawyers’ greed to make more money from more hearings and to manipulate sustained postponements, in league with their rival lawyers and the judicial staff.

This is the major reason for the accumulation of cases. It is up to the judicial system to read between the lines and assess the genuineness of each request for postponement to save the clients from undue harassment and financial loss and the court’s precious time. Sincere measures to tackle this problem will go a long way in reducing the backlog in courts.

Lt-Col BHAGWANT SINGH (retd),  Mohali

Much ado about the Bard

Khushwant Singh’s article “Much ado about the Bard’s life” (Saturday Extra, Jan 26) was interesting. Whether William Shakespeare’s plays, poems and sonnets were written by him or not, they have been attributed to him. They are indeed peerless.

Those who doubt the authenticity of his work have not been able to unravel the mystery shrouding his 37 plays, 150 sonnets and poems. The all-time great dramatist and towering figure in the world’s English literature can’t be belittled by unpleasant insinuations about him and his work. The more the controversy, the more famous he becomes.

His plays stand the test of time and their poetry remains still unrivalled in any language. Each new generation of men has found Shakespeare’s work ever so wonderful, and unique. He might have invented a few but he borrowed freely to churn out mesmerising comedies 
and tragedies.


Jail reforms

I read Upneet Lalli’s article, “Victims of apathy: Commitment needed to reform prisons” (Perspective, Jan 20). The riot in Jalandhar’s Central Jail is an eye-opener. The question is: what type of prison reforms are required to check such incidents? The reforms should be in terms of tightening the security arrangements, easing congestion (by deleting sub-section (1B) of Section 438 of the Cr PC and improving facilities to make criminals good citizens.

At the same time, the administration should keep in mind that reforms should not be such as to convert jails into holiday resorts for the inmates. Otherwise, prisons will turn into dwelling houses and the poor people would more frequently resort to some kind of offence to get into the jails and settle there!

ANKUR DUTTA, GNDU Regional Campus, Gurdaspur


The primary focus in jail reforms must begin and end with transformation of convicts as good citizens built on principles of human dignity and good living conditions during and after the jail term. A prisoner is detained in the four walls of a prison for a certain offence and must not be treated inhumanly like rats.

A mechanism with the active participation of NGOs and other well meaning individuals must ensure that there is no detention for anyone especially for petty offences till one is finally convicted after exhausting all available legal options.

This will check overcrowding and government expenditure, besides unnecessary detention of undertrials. Moreover, how long can you put a person in jail unless proved guilty?

B.M. SINGH, Amritsar



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