Attorney General asks Regional Court of Appeal to reduce burden on Supreme Court

During his speech during the Constitution Day celebrations in Vigyan Bhavan, the Attorney General of India, KK Venugopal, today spoke of the need to create an appeals court in at least 4 regions (north, south , west and east) with 15 judges composed of 3 benches of 3 judges each.

“I would envision at least 4 regions, North, South, West and East each having a Court of Appeal of 15 judges made up of 3 chambers of 3 judges each.

We are adding 60 judges who would take charge of the cases so that the wait is reduced to a very large extent. It would be reduced so that you can get the business settled within 3 or 4 years. This would mean that the Supreme Court would not need the 34 judges it currently has. Once it is relieved of all this burden of controlling rents, matrimonial and so on and so on and so forth, the result is that 15 judges sitting in 3 constitutional benches of 5 each would be enough to dispose of cases of a constitutional nature something. or where the death penalty is involved or constitutional requirement for references or so on, “ said AG.

The Attorney General began his speech by saying that over the past 75 years a big question that had been asked was whether the Supreme Court was a Constitutional Court.

He added that today the Supreme Court extended its coverage to cases to include all cases decided by the High Court as long as there was an error in judgment, the law was not worded correctly and that there were serious errors of fact.

In this context, he said,

“Now that means as far as the Supreme Court goes, it can’t really claim to be a constitutional court. You have to remember that when it comes to the Western Apex courts, they have handled their work in a way. where they are able to dispose of their cases within 2 years. But what is the real situation as far as India is concerned. We see that in the Supreme Court’s list there are criminal cases pending at from 2008, civil cases pending from 2009 and if its pending in SC for 12 years then it must be taken into account that the cases originate from the courts of first instance and the High Court where they have been pending since 10 years and about 8/10 years before the Supreme Court as well. ”

Building on the proposal initiated in 2010, AG said that today it is necessary for the Courts of Appeal to deal with all cases (matrimonial, rent control, acquisition cases, etc.) that do not had nothing to do with the Constitution or the interpretation of the Constitution.

“Now, in this context, it is time to ask if there is a solution. The solution that has been suggested from 2010 is that there should be what are called courts of appeal. western countries, not because they are western, but they are common law countries and we are also common law countries, most of them as far as they are concerned they have an intermediate court of appeal between the High Courts and the Supreme Court of the country and it is a court of appeal which absorbs all these cases of a nature other than constitutional, which the Supreme Court does today but which should be taken up by the courts of ‘Appeal. The judgments of the appellate courts would be final and there would be no appeal from it. “

In support of this, the AG said it would allow Supreme Court justices to sit and hear cases patiently, write excellent judgments, read law textbooks written in different countries. and incorporate the same into their judgments.

In reference to Judge KK Mathew’s article in which he said he could in due course consider the Supreme Court composed of at least 100 judges, AG said, “If this is to be true, I would say that as far as we are concerned, we admit that the regulatory structure of our justice system is failing in a way that would allow it to deliver justice quickly and at reasonable prices. the litigants of this country. “

He also said that now is the time to rethink the entire structure of the Supreme Court as it exists today because there is no point in sweeping everything under the carpet.

Adding that all the reforms that are going to be implemented should not be limited to the Supreme Court but also be applied to the high courts and first instance courts, AG KK Venugopal asked a question,

“Are we aware of the suffering suffered by a litigant when the proceedings of the court of first instance continue and they wait and each time the case is adjourned for 6 months and they do not know when the case will be?” resumed and finished? “

During his address, AG also urged to do away with the cumbersome procedure adopted in our country for the settlement of cases.

“Today we have inherited an extremely cumbersome system where the CPC procedure which is a big book would necessarily result in delaying the classification of cases. Criminal cases of course have a procedure which gives a full right of defense of the accused, but I think the cumbersome procedure should be removed “, said AG.

“It should be remembered that with regard to the right of access to justice, it is a question of A fundamental right and being a fundamental right, this should mean that we provide access to justice at a reasonable cost and within a reasonable time. 30 years is not a reasonable time. “

Concluding his speech, AG said the time has come for the government and the judiciary to come together to change the structure of the courts.

“We have written requests that can be filed and disposed of within 10 days, but that would never be done if you go through the CPC process. Therefore, as far as I’m concerned, I think the time has come when the government and the justice system should work together because we cannot allow the current situation to continue because we are not really doing justice. We ignore a fundamental right that may violate a fundamental right by allowing this structure of courts to remain, AG added.

Elna M. Lemons