NEW DELHI: Against the backdrop of huge backlog of cases in the courts, members of a parliamentary panel on Monday questioned top Law Ministry officials on why alternate methods are not being used to resolve legal disputes involving the government to reduce pendency, sources said.
Law Secretary (Department of Legal Affairs) Alok Shrivastava made presentations on the functioning of the department and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms in a meeting on Monday before the Parliament's standing committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice.
Members also asked about the number of cases in which the government is the litigant and sought detailed response from the Department of Legal Affairs in the form of a questionnaire to be sent to the department.
If it is true as is being reported that the government is the major litigant, then why not explore alternate methods of resolving disputes involving the government to dent huge pendency of cases, a member asked the Secretary Legal Affairs, sources said.
Members expressed concern over the weak enforcement of contracts in the country scaring away the foreign investors and also said huge government funds are locked up in disputes on account of delay in settling the appeals in the apex tribunal.
In his response Secretary (Legal Affairs) explained that the measures are being taken by the government in recent times to fill up a large number of vacancies in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunals for early disposal of cases.
The 30-member parliamentary standing committee which has MPs from across the party lines is headed by BJP's Rajya Sabha member Bhupender Yadav.