The Indian judiciary has a host of problems acting as hurdles in the speedy delivery of justice. Pendency of cases is one such problem that has been ailing the judiciary for a long time. In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the problem has increased three-fold. Recently, the Supreme Court of India observed that the pendency of cases “has gone out of control”, and said it will issue guidelines for the appointment of temporary judges to help address the backlog. This is not only the situation during the pandemic rather the backlog of pending cases in India has become a burning problem for a long time which denies the people the right to access timely justice. This impacts not just the administration of justice, but it has tremendous consequences for the economy and the functioning of businesses across India as well.
The administrative tribunals are not a novel creation of India’s political system. Rather, they are well-recognised in the US and various other democratic nations in Europe. The administrative tribunal is vital in the current times as the traditional judicial system is proving to be inadequate to settle all disputes. The traditional judicial system is slow, costly and complex. It is, at present, understaffed and is overloaded with the already existing pending cases. It can’t deal with even important cases like disputes between employers and employees, strikes, etc in a fast-paced manner. These problems can’t be solved through a mere interpretation of the provisions of any statute. A comprehensive and holistic approach are necessary for long-term speedy solutions. This is where the tribunal comes in.
Justice is a foundational value of the Indian value system. After Independence, it expectedly became one of the basic principles on which our constitution is based. Despite that, there is an inequality in justice delivery. The time, space, and money quotient of the current judicial process makes it imperative to search for alternate and complementary mechanisms that can make the justice delivery more accessible, democratic, and effective. The formation of Gram Nyayalayas is such one step.
Recently, a 5 judge bench of the Supreme Court (SC) chaired by the Chief Justice of India gave its verdict on the criminalisation of politics. In its verdict, the SC stated that the court cannot play the role of Parliament. In this article, we will analyse everything about the criminalisation of politics and also the verdict of SC.