Government biggest litigant, need to lessen load on judiciary: PM Modi

Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of the Delhi High Court here, Modi said the government is the "biggest litigant".

Published: 31st October 2016 05:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st October 2016 05:38 PM   |  A+A-


PM Narendra Modi and CJI TS Thakur during the 50th anniversary function of establishment of the High Court of Delhi in New Delhi. | PTI


NEW DELHI: Terming government as the "biggest litigant", Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said there is a need to lessen the load on the judiciary which spends its maximum time in tackling cases where the government is a party.

He also pitched for an All India Judicial Service on the lines of Indian Administrative Service.

Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of the Delhi High Court here, Modi said the government is the "biggest litigant".

"The judiciary spends its maximum time on us. Us does not mean Modi, but the government," he said.

The Prime Minister said the load on the judiciary can be reduced if cases are filed after taking a considered view.

He said if a teacher approaches court over a service matter and wins, then the judgement should be used as a yardstick to extend the benefit to thousands of others to reduce litigation at a later stage.

Though there are no concrete figures, government is party to at least 46 per cent of the court cases ranging from service matters to indirect taxes.

While the Centre has so far failed to finalise the litigation policy, several states have gone ahead with their respective policies based on the 2010 draft of the Law Ministry.

The draft litigation policy, which is being fine-tuned keeping in view the latest trends, makes it clear that the mindset that matters should be left to the courts for an final decision, should to be discarded.

Recalling the role Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary on the formation of an All-India Civil Service, Modi said its officers work as a bridge between the Centre and the states in implementing policies.

He said due to the training, an IAS posted in a district thinks on national lines.

He said though "controversial", the issue of an All-India Judicial Service should also be debated.

Against the backdrop of opposition to the idea by some states and high courts, Modi said debate is the essence of democracy.

The chief justices' conferences in 1961, 1963 and 1965 favoured creation of an AIJS, but the proposal had to be shelved after some states and HCs opposed it.

Subsequently, the Constitution was amended in 1977 to provide for an AIJS under Article 312. The proposal was again floated by the UPA government in 2012 when it got it vetted by a committee of secretaries and prepared a Cabinet note. But the draft bill was shelved after opposition from HC chief justices who felt it to be an infringement of their rights.

AIJS is an attempt to ensure that younger judges are promoted to the SC and HCs.

Modi also called for imparting training to young people in law universities in drafting laws, which he said can "narrow down" scope of discrimination and interpretation. However, he said the scope cannot be reduced to zero.

He appreciated the role of the bar and the bench in giving time for alternate dispute resolution and said it can also help reduce pendency of cases in courts.

Besides the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohini, Delhi Lt Governor Najib Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were also present.


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