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Adopt case management: High Court to lower courts

Adopt case management: High Court to lower courts


Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 4

In a judgment that could change the way cases are heard and decided, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the subordinate judiciary in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to adopt case management procedure.

Proactive approach

  • Dubbed as a proactive approach of processing legal matters, case management encompasses techniques and innovative ways to effectively manage cases
  • It is aimed at enhancing public confidence in the justice delivery mechanism and improving access to justice through a collaborative effort of the judiciary, prosecution, counsel and law enforcement agencies

Referring to a plethora of Supreme Court judgments, Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi asserted: “It is the need of the hour that the court adopts sound methods of court and case management, including the method of verifying the presence of witnesses for the date of hearing fixed and accommodating them by giving further dates if so required by communication with them through some nodal officer of the court/office of the Public Prosecutor”.

Dubbed as a proactive approach of processing legal matters, case management encompasses techniques and innovative ways to effectively manage cases and empowers the judges to cut down on unnecessary delays in hearing matters, including the ones involving life and liberty. It is aimed at enhancing public confidence in the justice delivery mechanism and improving access to justice through a collaborative effort of the judiciary, prosecution, counsel and law enforcement agencies.

Elaborating upon the aspect, Justice Tyagi asserted that calling upon the prosecution or the accused under the provisions of the CrPC to admit or deny genuineness of documents might obviate the necessity of summoning witnesses to prove them in case of admission.

Recording of evidence of formal character on affidavits may also ease the burden. Justice Tyagi asserted: “The court has to take steps for protection of the witness in case of their intimidation by the accused, reimbursement of the expenses incurred by them in attending court and prosecution of the witnesses turning hostile for illegal gratification.

“The court must prepare at the time of framing of charges the schedule of dates for all stages in the criminal case in the similar manner as is to be done for civil suits under the direction of the Supreme Court...”

Justice Tyagi also asked the subordinate judiciary to avoid giving liberal adjournments and give “block of dates” for evidence as directed by the Supreme Court in ‘Thana Singh versus Central Bureau of Narcotics’.

The courts below were also asked to examine witnesses on consecutive dates and not to defer their cross-examination for long period.


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