NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India R M Lodha on Monday expressed his concern over the increasing pendency of cases and said his proposal of increasing court’s working hours was tried and tested, and lawyer’s body should rethink the same.
Justice Lodha said that after getting Bar Associations of Patna High Court into confidence, he had increased the working hours of the High Court by 30 minutes and subordinate courts by 45 minutes to one hour, which led to large number of disposal of cases.
“The 365-day working proposal, which the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had rejected, was first conceptualised at Patna High Court, during my stint as Chief Justice in 2008,” Justice Lodha said.
During the farewell function of Justice Chandramouli Prasad, who retired on Monday, the Chief Justice praised Prasad’s contribution in making that proposal of increased working hours successful.
“During my stint in Patna High Court, I found there were more than 30,000 bail applications pending. I then asked my fellow judge Justice Prasad to talk to the Bar Associations to increase the working hours of the courts,” he said.
Justice Prasad had advised the Bar to take up the cases of death convicts.
“During my stint as a Supreme Court judge, I have found that many lawyers do not wish to take up the cases of death convicts.
“I urge the members of Bar that this practice should be done away with and cases of death convicts should be take up, so that no innocent goes to the gallows,” said Lodha.
“In India, institutions are individual based and once I left the Patna High Court, the increased working hours, to my dismay, were done away with, and they all reverted back to the old time schedule,” added Justice Lodha.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi also lauded Justice Chandramouli Prasad and said that his two recent judgments – one on stopping immediate automatic arrest of husbands under anti-dowry legislation and other on holding that Fatwa has no legal sanctity – will go a long way.