NEW DELHI: To attain the goal of making the country litigation-free under the National Litigation Policy, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice will conduct workshops for police officials involved in the day-to-day work of courts across the country. The training session will involve judicial officers and police officials at the State level so that they can share their experiences of day-to-day working.
With more than three crore cases pending before the three levels of courts, and at the pace the cases are being disposed of, it will take more than 300 years to clear the backlog.
The ministry has cited a study conducted by the Delhi High Court enumerating the reasons for the delays in the criminal cases. According to it, archaic rules and procedures employed to dispose of cases had slowed down the entire process, thereby increasing pendency of cases.
“It was found that there is a major bottleneck in the registration of FIRs, which is the backbone of cases. When there is a fault in registering the FIR, then the procedure followed in the case will automatically suffer a setback.” “Keeping this in mind, a training session will be held for police officials, who are assigned the duty of writing FIRs, explaining the difficulties the courts are facing while hearing a criminal case. Fair and speedy trial and justice depend on how unbiased the probe by the police or other agencies has been,” said a top Law and Justice Ministry official.
According to him, “Another major issue before the courts is that police fail to prepare case diaries in proper formats, which if written correctly, will help the judicial officer understand and adjudicate the case faster.”
The official added that there was no uniformity in the reports filed in the courts by the police. “If chargesheets come with clarity, due pagination and indexing, with a proper list of witnesses and a calendar of evidence, a lot of time of the judiciary and unnecessary complications can be saved at the stage of consideration,” he said.
The proposal to hold such sessions have been sent to the states for consideration. Advocate B S Chaturvedi, who deals with criminal cases in trial courts, told Express, “As far as the delay in trial and disposal of cases is concerned, there are many bottlenecks. We need to address the real issues. Why should police take time in completion of investigations? It is basically lethargy of the probe agency because of which investigations are delayed.”
He explains that when “the matter goes to the court, there is no proper scrutiny at any stage and proceedings keep going on. The whole system must be remapped. While pronouncing a judgment, no court gives reasons why and how the conclusion of the matter got delayed and who was responsible for it: the police, prosecution or the accused. If anyone is not honestly and diligently pursuing the case, their responsibility should be fixed and court must make an observation proposing action against them, if any”.
State of affairs
■ Pending cases in the country: 3.3 crore
■ Pending cases in Supreme Court:
■ Pending cases in High Courts: 41.53 lakh
Reasons for Pendency
■ Inefficient investigations
■ Wrong process adopted in registering FIRs
■ Incomplete chargesheets
■ Unnecessary adjournments