M A I N   N E W S

Judge @ high speed upsets lawyers
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, August 29
Justice at jet speed. That is what seems to be the motto of a young civil judge in Andhra Pradesh who has created a national record by disposing of 111 cases on a single day.

For JVV Satyanarayana Murthy, a 40-year-old junior judge in a small coastal town of Mangalagiri, justice brooks no delay. Virtually racing against time, he is on a mission to reduce pendency in his court. On Thursday last, Murthy set a record by delivering judgments in 111 cases, bringing much relief to the litigants. The previous national record was the clearing of 80 cases by a court in Mumbai.

A majority of them were petty cases. In 78 of these cases, the accused had confessed to the offences, resulting in the imposition of fines totalling Rs 99,500. Most of the cases related to theft, street brawls, domestic quarrels and road accidents.

While his zeal to ensure speedy justice brought cheers to the common public, a section of lawyers, however, feels aggrieved. Reason? They stand to lose on monetary front if the cases are disposed of quickly.

“We are happy that our judge has created a national record in delivering speedy justice. We need more and more judges like him to reduce pendency in courts. Though a small section of lawyers feel that they will be deprived of their earnings if the cases are instantly disposed of, everyone else is happy,” the President of Mangalagiri Bar Association, A Sanjeeva Reddy, told The Tribune over phone.

Ever since joining Mangalagiri court in Guntur district in May this year, Murthy has virtually declared a war on pendency. Thanks to his initiatives, the number of pending cases had come down from 1,900 to 1,300 now, Reddy said.

When a group of “aggrieved” lawyers approached the judge and pleaded with him to “go slow”, he politely refused to entertain their request saying that the interests of litigants were paramount to him and they should not be made to suffer for the sake of filling the pockets of lawyers.

“If all courts get a judge like him, we can bring the pendency to zero level,” the Bar Association president said.

The media-shy Murthy keeps a low-profile and has been avoiding media interviews. “He has made it clear that he does not need publicity and that he was not doing anything for records,” Reddy said when asked how the judge felt about setting a record in clearing the cases.

Murthy had earned accolades for the alacrity and speed with which he cleared cases that came up before him. He had disposed of 808 civil cases in 20 days when he was posted at Pulivendula town in Kadapa district a couple of years ago, the native place of former Chief Minister late YS Rajasekhar Reddy. The former Chief Minister commended Murthy for his work.

“Such a performance on the part of judges will restore people’s confidence in the judiciary at a time when they are scared to go to courts. They are frustrated and some of them are even taking the help of anti-social elements for parallel justice,” Reddy said.

The pro-active approach by courts would benefit litigants, a majority of whom are farmers, agricultural labourers and people from the weaker sections of society.





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