CHENNAI: A Cabinet note on the National Litigation Policy 2015 is set to be moved in a fortnight with Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda declaring that everything on the policy was ready and it would move forward quickly.
Speaking to the gathered elite of the judiciary and several lawyers, he said, “The NLP is already ready with us. The inter-ministerial consultations and suggestions from stakeholders are all ready and with me. I will be moving a Cabinet note within 15 days. The NLP 2015 will come into force in the near future,” said Gowda.
According to Gowda, NLP 2015 has been designed to contain frivolous litigation by or against the government.
“This will certainly give us some relief,” said the Minister who spoke about the problems that long pendency had in the litigation and dispute redressal systems of the country.
“This will also address the problem of load on the judiciary. The policy outlines mechanisms to reduce cases by or against the government and it aims at avoiding unwanted litigation by making the government a responsible litigant,” he added.
The Minister also suggested a three-pronged strategy to reduce the high levels of litigation, which in turn raised the load on the judiciary.
“Avoid litigation, adopt alternative resolution mechanisms, adjudicate quickly. Arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism needs to be encouraged at every level. Such alternatives are not only quicker but also bring down pendency and costs,” he said.
On the subject of making justice accessible to all, Gowda said despite efforts, the community has not managed to achieve this basic right of every Indian citizen.
The only way to make that possible would be to implement and promote alternative methods of dispute resolution — be it through peer groups, village elders, village panchayat or any other form including mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
“I am very clear that courts, judges and lawyers will never be able to handle the growing demand of justice dispensation for the vast country. What is important is creating a society that has less disputes and can resolve disputes through its own local mechanisms in a fair manner,” he said.
The crux of the issue of access to justice to all lay in the conclusions of a national study by university students, he said.
According to the study, nearly three-fourth of all persons given death penalty and other harsh judgments were persons from economically weaker sections of society.