CJI-designate Justice Ranjan Gogoi has ambitious plan to cut judicial pile-up

CJI-designate Justice Ranjan Gogoi has ambitious plan to cut judicial pile-up

Courtesy : Agencies02/10/2018 10:38

NEW DELHI: With just two days to go for Chief Justice of India-designate Ranjan Gogoi to formally take charge of the high office, he is already putting his mind to addressing the challenge of huge pendency of cases in courts across the country.

“Accused in criminal cases are getting hearing after serving their sentence and parties in civil disputes are getting judgments after two-three generations. It is a serious problem, but it is not too difficult and can be resolved. I have a plan and will soon unfold it,” Justice Gogoi said at an event.

 His confidence in making his magic bullet work is a morale booster for the judiciary that is saddled with as many as 3.3 crore pending cases. During his stint at the Gauhati High Court, he had clubbed similar cases and heard them together, thus disposing of nearly 10,000 cases at a stretch. That could be one of the many ideas he has in mind.

Earlier, Justice Gogoi had pointed out that there were around 5,950 judicial vacancies in district courts across the country.

He had said the problem does not lie in the short tenure (of judges) but lies in the change of priorities with change of chief justices and batted for a consistent policy for the judiciary.

"Then if you have a policy and if you implement it, then the tenure will not be a matter," Justice Gogoi had said then.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra had on September 4 recommended the name of Justice Gogoi as his successor.

Justice Gogoi takes over as the 42nd Chief Justice of India on October 3. He will be the first CJI from the Northeast and have a tenure of over 13 months. In judicial circles, Justice Gogoi is known as upright and someone who speaks his mind.

Justice Gogoi was among four most senior judges who called a press conference in January and criticised Justice Misra on various issues, especially the manner of allocation of cases to certain benches.

Justices J Chelameswar (since retired), Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph were among those who addressed the press conference, perhaps a first in the history of the Indian judiciary.

For him, the first task would be to set things in order in the Supreme Court, especially on allocation of  cases. He was one of the four Supreme Court judges who had raised their voice against Chief Justice Dipak Misra over allocation of cases, in an unprecedented press conference.

Given the pile of cases, setting up more courts and appointing of more judges at all levels with supporting staff is the need of the hour — another challenge for him. There are around 5,950 judicial vacancies in district courts across the country.

Despite a three-year-old Constitution bench judgement on formulating a memorandum of procedure for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary, it has not been finalised yet. Justice Gogoi has also been involved in a big way in providing child care facilities at the Supreme Court.

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