Tag: high courts

Judicial reforms

India needs judicial reforms. Cases drag on for years from lower courts to Sessions Courts to High Courts to Supreme Court. Adjournments and stay orders delay justice. Appeals are allowed long after the expiry of the period granted for appeal. Cases decided by arbitration are appealed in High Courts. There are various tribunals whose judgments can be appealed.

Cases of murder, rape, abduction, hijacking and such high crimes must be tried by a court having three judges and the decision should be first and last. There should be no appeal, only mercy petition in case there is punishment. Minor crimes may be tried by one judge. Civil matters may be tried by one judge or three judges depending on the amount involved and there should be no appeal.

Public interest litigation should be done away with. The law does not provide for PIL. It was an invention of a CJI. Mostly PIL is publicity interest litigation or political interest litigation or private interest litigation.

There should be no lawyers. In criminal matters police should produce evidence and witnesses and the accused have to defend themselves. They may question police evidence and witnesses and produce evidence and witnesses in their defence which the police may question.

Punishment to be consecutive and not concurrent. It should be multiplied according to the people who suffer. If two years is the punishment for causing death by accident of one person it should be 30,000 years for causing death by accident of 15,000 persons. If one year is the punishment for leaking a question paper in which one student appears for an examination it should be 1,00,000 years when 1,00,000 students appear for an examination.

There should be no parole or furlough or early release. Many people jump parole or furlough. Sometimes people who give guarantee or stand surety claim they did not do so and their signatures were forged as happened in Bitty Mohanty case. Parole or furlough is not a right. In Maharashtra in one year more than 800 persons disappeared after release on parole or furlough.

Time spent by criminals in hospitals should not be counted as part of the sentence and the period of sentence should be extended accordingly.

Madras High Court and Tamil

Madras High Court and Tamil Language

Madras High Court

There is a demand in Tamil Nadu to make Tamil the language of Madras High Court. According to the constitution of India English is the language of High Courts and Supreme Court. Making Tamil the language of Madras High Court requires constitutional amendment.

If UPA decides to go for constitutional amendment to make Tamil the language of Madras High Court other states will demand their languages be made languages of their High Courts. The amendment will have to apply all High Courts.

If the amendment is passed it will create the problem of translation of High Court judgments when people want to appeal to Supreme Court against High Court judgments. With English as the language of High Courts it takes several days to get a copy of the judgment. It will take more days to translate the judgment from state language to English. Computers can be used for translation but someone has to check it for accuracy. We have the example where computer translated “out of sight out of mind” as “invisible idiot”.

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Appointment of judges

In India appointment of judges is shrouded in secrecy. It is time to make it open.
The names of judges who are to be appointed to the Supreme Court and High Courts should be made public. Committees should be appointed to discuss the appointments. For Supreme Court judges a committee comprising members of Lok Sabha should be appointed. Anyone who has objection to the appointment should mention in to the committee. The candidate should be given an opportunity to defend himself or herself. Similarly for High Court judges a committee comprising members of Legislative Assembly of the state should be appointed and procedure followed. Judges should be appointed after the committee clears appointments.
There is talk of corruption in the judiciary. Some allegations are open. Once a judge is appointed it is very difficult to remove him or her. It is better and required that people know who are going to be the judges.
The process of removal of judges should be short. Once the required number of MPs sign the petition for removal the judge should be notified and called to appear before House, Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, within 15 days. If that House votes two third for the removal the next House must vote within a week.
Live telecast of court proceedings should be allowed. Exemption may be made when victim’s identity needs to be protected.
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