Article on Judicial Reform


Lack of Management & Technology in Indian Judicial System – Greatest Cause of Huge Pendency & Utterly Low Efficiency
Ram Kishan

M – 09302103689

We adopted the Judicial System established by the British Rulers meant for governing over an alien country and hence obviously not suited for a democratic setup or even their own country.

We created so called a ‘World Class Constitution’ which was based on inputs from the various constitutions of the world. It was our lack of management that on one hand we took self pride that we have a created a world class constitution but did not do anything to create world class courts, world class advocates, world class judges and world class judicial system. We left the court system in lurch to continue on their own. The attitudes of most of the judges, advocates, their staff, procedures and dealings with the litigants continued in the same manner as in British Days. As per the Constitution, the Public should have been respected as the Master, Customer or the Client but the dealings are not much different than those in British Days. On one hand the Judges and Advocates are using most modern TVs, Cars, Air-conditioners etc. but in court room they are not willing to go beyond 500 years old technology of paper and oral submissions.

On account of above, during last 60 years, there has been ever increasing pendency from year to year and now it has crossed 3 crore pending cases and is going up day by day. This pendency is not created all of a sudden. We were voicing our concern every year but no substantial measures have been taken to arrest the ever growing pendency. One of the sitting Judges of Andhra Pradesh High Court, Justice V.V. Rao has said that it will take 320 years to clear the pendency (vide news item dated 07.03.10) Thus the said ever growing pendency of above 3 crore cases and clearance period of 320 years is the proclamation of the Indian Judiciary itself.

The sole reason of above sorry state of affairs is due to lack or near absence of management approach as well as appropriate technology. While there is hue and cry about the lower strength of judges, nobody is emphasizing that first there should be implementation of appropriate management and technology. Justice Krishna Iyer has said in his book ’Law, Lawyers and Justice’ 1988 edition at page 133 that we are behind 200 years compared with developed countries. Hence it will be a prudent step to adopt the already established practices in the said countries. Highlights of the important practices in the developed countries as well as our proposals are given below.

Court Management in USA.
The Americans did not follow the Court System created by the British but developed their own Judicial System suited for a democratic country. The concept of ‘Court Management’ was introduced in USA in 1960 when a body called ‘National Association of Court Management’ was created. Past 50 years

Mr. Ram Kishan, 68 years is a Consultant in industrial and legal matters past 21 yrs, web, & e-mail massive work has been done and as a result the performance of Judicial System has considerably improved. They identified 10 core competencies viz (1) Purposes and Responsibilities of Courts, (2) Case Flow Management, (3) Leadership, (4) Visioning and Strategic Planning, (5) Essential Components, (6) Court Community Communication, (7) Resources, Budget and Finance, (8) Human Resources Management, (9) Education, Training and Development, (10) Information Technology Management. In each core competency they prepared standards for KSA i.e. Knowledge, Skill and Ability. Exhaustive training and development programs were prepared and implemented. All this was done under the guidance and advice of top notch experts chosen from different fields in the country. All details about history and methodology are available on internet.

Our High Court and Supreme Court Judges and Law College Professors have visited USA several times but no worthwhile efforts have been made to induct and introduce the modern judicial management and practices developed and established in USA.

On account of ever increasing pendency of more than 3 crore cases past 60 years and verdict of a sitting High Court judge that it will take more than 320 years to clear the pendency; it is proved beyond doubt that the existing approach of the present setup of the advocates, judges and their associate bodies like the Bar Council of India etc. can not accomplish better than the existing sorry state of affairs.

The only hope is out of the public initiatives to force the Govt first to enhance the budget from less than 1% to atleast 5% by filing PILs and creating pressure through media. After enhancement of budget, public bodies as in US and UK are to be created and they should monitor and guide the implementation as is being done in those countries. It is needless to mention that the judges are heavily overloaded and hence the advocates also in turn get heavily overloaded. The briefs are not read and studied thoroughly and orders do not deal with all the points in the brief or pressed during the arguments. Hence as a result the orders being defective or incomplete result in avoidable reviews and appeals and thus creating further load on already heavily overloaded system. Unfortunately the review and appeal courts are also heavily overloaded and hence getting speedy and cheap justice is a remotest possibility in the present system. Such heavily overloaded system becomes a easy ground for rampant corruption in the staff and even judges. The advocates also being under pressure of such overloaded system can not spare time for their clients.

The American Bar Association has undertaken massive plan for public education by making the following statement:-

“As members of the legal profession, we serve as the guardians and caretakers of the American Justice System. Our responsibilities include improving public understanding of the Justice System and sustaining public confidence in it.” They have resolved “that the American Bar Association encourages every lawyer to consider it part of his or her fundamental professional responsibility to further the public’s understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the American system of Justice.”

Bar Council of India has no such approach towards public.
In USA, the Judges are addressed as Mr. Justice so and so, Mr. Chief Justice so and so. In documents and records also they are addressed like this. No where words like ‘My Lord’ or ‘Your Lordship’ are used. But in our country still we are continuing the old British Addressing like ‘Hon’ble Justice’, ‘My Lord’, ‘Your Lordship’ Thus in Indian Judiciary, we have still not become a free nation. In USA and UK, the Judges are living in flats but in our country they have large mansions in very costly localities.

Looking to the above sorry state of affairs, in a modest way we have created a body ‘Legal Forum of India’ which is active (past two and half years) in the arena of Judicial Management, Technology and Reforms in DRTs (Debts Recovery Tribunals) apart from educating the borrowers and guarantors vide details in our web site (active since 2000) We have held two All India Conferences in May 2008 and Jan 2011 which were attended to by the litigants, advocates, chartered accounts, business men, industrialists etc. All proceedings were video recorded and are available in form of DVDs. The said DVDs were indexed by a Digital Clock perhaps for the first time in the country. We have been publishing ‘Weekly Mails’ past two and half years every Friday. All the said weekly mails are available on our web site vide link These mails deal with practical solutions to the management and technological problems in DRTs. We intend to implement better management and technology in DRTs and the models thus developed will be available for implementation in other tribunals and civil courts.

We now highlight the most important aspects for immediate implementation in the court rooms as under.

Recording of Oral Arguments

All the oral arguments in the courts in USA are transcripted since 1935. Such transcripts are part of court records. The said transcripts are available to public on the same day.

Subsequently audio of all oral arguments are available since 1953. Such audio recordings are part of court records. The said audio recordings are available to public on the same day. The transcript, audio and video recordings are published on the internet on the same day.

It is reiterated that our High Court and Supreme Court Judges and law college professors have visited USA several times but no worthwhile efforts have been made to induct and introduce the transcripting, audio recording and video recording of the oral arguments.

It is needless to mention that recording of the Oral Arguments is a vital document in the adjudication process. The existing system of written arguments is not the true record of the oral arguments. Hence the system of transcripting oral arguments as prevalent in USA since 1935 and audio recording as prevalent in USA since 1953 need to be implemented immediately in the Indian court rooms without further delay. We welcome earliest possible introduction in DRTs.

With the above records of the oral arguments, the court orders will be much more accurate and hence there will be lesser review and lesser appeals. Thus unnecessary pendency on this count will reduce. Ultimately there will be much better attainment of Justice for which the courts exist. Finally there will be more satisfaction to the consumers i.e. litigants due to Justice, lesser time and lesser costs of the judicial process.

Interim Measure till Commencement of Recording of Oral Arguments

Before commencement of Oral Arguments, the arguing advocate should submit the points which he will be pressing during the arguments. As per the law declared by the SC in the matter of Mohd Akram Ansari vs Chief Election Officer vide citation 2008(2) SCC 95 all those points pressed during the arguments must be dealt with by the Judge in his order. If any of those points are missed in the order, the said advocate is entitled to submit an application to include the said point. With such approach, the quality of orders will definitely improve and hence there will be overall improvement

E-filing in High Courts and Tribunals

The system of e-filing in the Supreme Court has started. We made the first e-filing (from MP) of PIL in the Supreme Court on 05.11.10 vide Diary no 31960/2010 in the matter of Satya Pal Anand, Dharmdas & Ram Kishan vs Chief Justice S. H. Kapadia and others relating to investigation into corruption charges levelled against 6 chief justices of India. It was hailed by the print and electronic media on 07.11.10. All the defects have been removed and we are waiting for earliest possible listing. Reminders have been sent through e-mails. We intend to request the Supreme Court to conduct the oral arguments through Video Conferencing as well as to make Video Record of the said arguments.

The similar system needs to be introduced in the High Courts and the Tribunals without further delay. In fact we have filed a PIL in M.P. High Court at Jabalpur on 14.02.10 to introduce e-filing in the High Courts vide PIL by Satya Pal Anand and Ram Kishan vs Registrar General MP High Court. Mr. Satya Pal Anand, 81 years, famous PIL Crusader from Indore has been kind enough to learn modern computer technology from the author of this article and was the Chief Guest in the All India DRT Conference held on 8th Jan 2011 at Indore. His thought provoking address is available in the DVD No 021 of the said Conference. Mr. Sudhir Bindal and Mr. R.K. Tekriwal of Indore have gifted a ‘Tablet PC’ to ‘Anand Trust’ of Mr. Satya Pal Anand with the hope that he will use the same in his office and the court room.

At present the e-filing system in the Supreme Court is limited to the Petitioner-in-Person and the Advocates on Record. It needs to be extended to all the advocates.

The system of e-filing avoids unnecessary travelling of advocates or their representatives. Further it saves papers as well as their physical movements. Since it works on round the clock including holidays, the efficiency of the system as a whole will improve. All these will considerably save the time and costs of the litigants.

Arguments by Video Conferencing

The Information Commissioner under RTI Act in Delhi, in 95% of the cases, is carrying out ‘Arguments by Video Conferencing’ particularly for the litigants from far off places like Kerala and Assam vide news item published in Economic Times, Mumbai dated 19.12.10. The litigant has to walk down to the nearest Collector’s Office where all the facility for video conferencing are available and carry out the arguments through Video Conferencing with the said Court in Delhi. This saves lot of time and costs of the litigants.

When the above Court in Delhi can carry out such process of oral arguments by Video Conferencing, the Supreme Court can also adopt the same system immediately particularly for the litigants from far off places.

Similarly in the Tribunals like DRTs and DRAT which cover many states, the same above method of arguments can be adopted immediately.

Video Arguments by the Advocates
Such ‘Video Arguments’ are being prepared and presented in USA for past several years. The Author of this Article has indigenously developed a method of ‘Video Arguments’ for the first time in the country and demonstrated the same before the District Judge Indore on 10.07.07 when the said DJ appreciated the same. This method was shown to many Retired Judges and Senior Advocates who also appreciated the same and desired immediate implementation. The proposal was sent to the Supreme Court and High Court where it is still under considerations. The Author has demonstrated the same in All India DRT Conference in May 2008, All India CAs Conference held in Indore in Feb 2009 as well as in All India DRT Conference in Jan 2011. The arguments is prepared on a PowerPoint Presentation which shows all the documents, records, judgments etc with narration. It is recorded on a CD and submitted to the court with copy to the opposite party. There are numerous advantages of such method. It saves time of the court as well as the advocates. It improves the quality of the judgments as the Judge need not note down or remember anything. This will be available even if the Judge is transferred as well as to the appellate and higher courts.

Court to Publish All the Case Materials on their Web Sites
In USA, all the documents, brief, transcript of the oral argument, audio and video records of the oral argument and the court orders are published on the web site of the courts. This will greatly help the litigants particularly from far off places by conserving their time and costs and thus will help in speedier and cheaper justice as envisaged in our constitution.

Permission for Video Recording on Mobile of All Discussions with Public Servants
Corruption has become the most important issue for our country. Oral Verdicts and Black Money are the sole causes. Public needs to be legally authorised to make video record of all the discussions with the Public Servants like politicians, bueauracrats, police as well as businessmen, industrialists. There are now 70 crores of mobile phones and many of them have got video cameras. With the legal authorisation of video recording, there will be more transparency, responsibility and accountability. A PIL in this respect will be quite useful. When one is required to have written record, why video record should not be insisted upon along with the written record.

Implementation of Above has become Easy & Affordable
Our country has sufficient manpower and world class expertise in modern IT Technologies. The costs of hardware and software has also come down considerably. Similar systems are now being used by the many departments of the State Governments. Hence implementation has become easy and affordable. Whenever we get time, we illustrate use of modern technology and management to the Advocates, Judges, Law College Professors, PIL crusaders, Litigants, Chartered Accountants, Doctors etc. For important personalities, we have even paid several visits not only to illustrate but to train them in using modern technology. We have even shown them how to e-file the petitions in the Supreme Court. We have also illustrated use of ‘Tablet PC’ in the court room. The Tablet PC is a powerful device which replaces laptops and mobile and is so handy that it can be easily carried in hand. The author is using this device at home during walking to study written records, documents, news paper extracts, court judgments etc. He carries the same during discussions with advocates, retired judges, law college professors, legal luminaries as well as the litigants particularly in DRTs.

Recently Dr. N.S. Poonia, Editor ‘Lost Justice’ from Indore became interested in application of modern technology in court room. We had few sessions of interactions. We have devoted a page to Dr. Poonia on our web site vide link titled ‘Lost Just’ Unique Law Journal by Dr. Poonia’

Conclusion & Proposal for Plan of Action for Implementation
In USA all suits (howsoever complex they are) are decided within 9 months whereas in our country we may take decades. That is why Justice Krishna Iyer has said that we are 200 years behind. On account of most inefficient and tardy judiciary in our country, the corruption and law breaking has become rampant from the highest level to lowest level as no body is afraid of wrong doings. More than 70% litigations are pertaining to the Govt departments or agencies. They fight even on petty issues upto the Supreme Court. Hence on account of various factors narrated in this article, the pendency has become more than 3 crore cases for which one of the sitting High Court Judge has said that it will take more than 320 years to clear.

We as Indians are habituated to collect information and to interact using the same just to show off superiority but we are very poor in the management of implementation. That is why goonda elements from Portugal, Moghul Countries and England ruled over us. And now that is why Indian stooges of the said goonda elements in the country are looting the wealth generated by the ignorant citizens. The only solution is application of proper management techniques and appropriate modern technology in empowering the citizens to exercise their powers to dethrone and unseat (as they can not be deported) the goonda elements in politics, bueauracracy, business and industry.

We through our web site (in existence since 2000) and body like ‘Legal Forum of India’ (working past two and half years) have taken up a social activity (in our free time and hence progress is slow) to implement modern management and technology in DRTs in a modest way. Our two bi-annual conferences in May ;08 and Jan ’11 at Indore were attended to by people from all over the country. The DVDs of both the Conferences are in great demand. Similarly our weekly mails published on Fridays past two and half years are viewed with great interest. We shall continue to make efforts with our limited resources through the said web site, weekly mails and bi-annual conferences under the banner of ‘Legal Forum of India’ We are ready to spread the practical aspects of management and technology to the interested persons.
We welcome suggestions through
e-mail and or
mobile phone 09302103689.