Rajya Sabha member and former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has criticised the judiciary, saying if one goes to Indian courts they would have to wait endlessly for a verdict, reported India Today. “If you go to court, you don’t get a verdict, all you do is wash your dirty linen,” Gogoi said at an India Today Conclave East on Thursday in national capital.
“You want a 5 trillion dollar economy but you have a ramshackled judiciary,” said Ranjan Gogoi, who retired as the head of the country’s judiciary in November 2019 and is now a member of the upper house of the parliament.
Gogoi’s remarks calling for an overhaul of the judiciary’s capacity and efficacy highlights India’s troubles with delayed verdicts and enforcing contracts. Court systems in Asia’s third-largest economy are clogged with over 43 million cases and a shortage of judges means that some cases can end up taking years, even decades, to find a resolution. Companies invested in India have a tough time once entangled in a legal dispute.
He said that subordinate courts in India added about 60 lakh new cases to their workload in 2020. Similarly, the figure of pending cases in High Courts have risen by about three lakh and the Supreme Court admitted 6,000-7,000 new cases in the previous year, Gogoi said.
This implies that there are about 4 crore pending cases in the subordinate courts, a little over 44 lakh cases in the High Courts, and about 70,000 in the Supreme Court. In this context, Gogoi called for a roadmap to improve efficiency of the judiciary. “The roadmap I have in mind is to have the right man for the job,” he said. “You don’t appoint judges the same way you appoint officers in the government. To judge is a full-time commitment. It is a passion. There are no working hours. It is a 24/7 job.”
Only corporations, willing to take chances with their millions of rupees go to the Supreme Court, he said. “If you were to go to the court, you’d be only washing your dirty linen in the court. You won’t get a verdict. I have no hesitation in saying it,” Gogoi said. Gogoi made the remarks responding to a question on whether he plans to sue a politician who alleged that he presided over a matter that heard allegations of sexual harassment against him during his tenure as the chief justice. The member also alleged that Gogoi was made a parliamentarian after his retirement after he ruled in favor of Hindus seeking a centuries-old religiously disputed site and rejected a probe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in graft allegations involving the purchase of fighter jets.
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