Nearly five crores of cases are pending in Indian courts and the number will increase further if no action is taken, Union Justice and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Saturday.
Speaking at the first convocation of the Maharashtra National Law University (MNLU) in Aurangabad, the minister also expressed concern over the unaffordability of legal professionals for the people. “The quality of Indian justice is well known around the world. Two days ago I was in London where I met people connected with justice there. They all have similar thoughts and high esteem for Indian justice. Judgments from the Supreme Court are mentioned quite often in the UK,” the Minister said.
Expressing concern over the anticipation of cases in the country, Rijiju said, “The anticipation of cases when I took office as Minister of Justice was slightly less than four crores. Today it is close to of five crores. This is a matter of great concern to all of us.” This situation is not due to a deficiency in the administration of justice or a lack of support from the government, but “the expectation is bound to increase if drastic measures are not taken”, declared the Minister of Justice.
“In the UK, each judge decides in a maximum of three to four cases a day. But in the Indian courts, each judge on average presides over 40 to 50 cases a day. Now I realize that they sit longer… “People expect a quality judgement. Judges are human beings too,” Rijiju said.
Referring to comments about judges in the media, the minister said, “Sometimes I see comments on social media and print media about judges. If you really see the amount of work a judge has to do, it’s unimaginable and unthinkable for everyone else. countries.”
“In the age of social media, everyone has an opinion without getting to the bottom of the matter. People jump to conclusions and make personal judgments about judges,” he said.
He also expressed concern about the fees charged by lawyers. Poor people struggle to afford good lawyers, and that shouldn’t be the reason for anyone’s denial of justice, he said. “I know many lawyers in Delhi who are unaffordable for the common man. Just because someone has better access to the system does not mean that their fees should not increase. The playing field should be open and equal for everyone,” Rijiju said.
A Mediation Bill with some changes will be passed in the next monsoon session of parliament and it will open up more opportunities for aspiring lawyers, the minister said.