Choked courts: CJI calls lawyers out on ‘adjournment culture’ - The Tribune India

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Choked courts

CJI calls lawyers out on ‘adjournment culture’

Choked courts

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



CALLING the lawyers out on promoting the ‘adjournment culture’, Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud has asserted that he does not want the Supreme Court to become a ‘tareekh pe tareekh’ court. His call resonates with crores of litigants embroiled in one legal tangle or another for years or even decades. The repeated adjournments are the bane of the judicial system at all levels. The CJI has his finger on the pulse of the harried public as he has zeroed in on the three ‘As’ ailing the legal framework: adjournments, admissions and appeals. Not even sparing his own community, he says that serving judges, too, are guilty of irresponsible behaviour. The messy rigmarole has indeed undermined the system, with apparently nobody being held accountable for the all-round justice-delayed-is-justice-denied situation.

The sorry state of affairs makes one wonder if the reforms proposed to expedite the legal proceedings would work. For, paradoxically, lawyers often request adjournments for even those cases that are listed for an urgent hearing. They need to pay heed to the CJI’s appeal to not seek repeated adjournments in fresh cases. Only then can it be possible to rein in the ‘docket explosion’ — the rapid rise in the number of pending cases in Indian courts.

Minister of Law and Justice Arjun Ram Meghwal had told the Rajya Sabha in July this year that over 5 crore cases were pending in various courts across the country. Calling the humungous backlog a huge challenge, then CJI NV Ramana had in August 2022 said that a solution could be found by employing modern technological tools such as artificial intelligence. The lawyers can contribute towards mitigating the problem by seeking adjournments only when absolutely necessary.

#Justice DY Chandrachud #Supreme Court


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