New Delhi [India] Sept 13 (ANI): Expressing concern over the heavy pendency of cases in various courts in the country, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said that there is a need in the improvement of the efficiency of the justice system.
Speaking after launching the book 'Rethinking Good Governance', authored by former Comptroller Auditor General (CAG), Vinod Rai, Naidu also called for the expansion of Supreme Court and the establishment of more benches in different parts of the country.
Pointing that a number of civil and criminal cases have been pending for over 25 years, the Vice President said that there was a need for division of the Supreme Court into a Constitution Bench at Delhi and Cassation benches in four regions - Delhi, Chennai or Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai, as suggested by the Law Commission.
"There is truth in the dictum that 'justice delayed is justice denied'. Therefore, the most urgent judicial reform necessary is the elimination of judicial delays and the improvement of the efficiency of the justice system," he said.
Naidu said the government needs to be more proactive in addressing a large number of pending vacancies in the judicial system so that delays are avoided.
"To put an end to the inconvenience caused to litigants who travel long distances and spend a huge amount of money and energy to access justice, it is high time we had more benches," he said.
There is also a need to improve court management and infrastructure facilities, especially in lower courts, the Vice President said.
Expressing his agreement with the suggestions made by the Chief Justice of India to improve the functioning of the judiciary, he said that increasing the retirement age of High Court judges and making tenure appointments to clear the backlog were pragmatic solutions.
On election petitions and criminal cases against political leaders, Naidu said it must be decided quickly by special benches of higher courts in a time-bound manner and called for setting up of separate benches to expedite such cases within six months or one year.
Similarly, he said, the presiding officers of legislative bodies need to decide anti-defection cases within three months time.
Calling upon the three limbs of the state - legislature, executive and judiciary - to work together and inspire synergy to ensure all-round development of the nation, Naidu said that these organs of the state perform their duties best when they don't transgress into each other's territory.
"This will bring governance closer to people and enhance its credibility and effectiveness," he added.
Pointing out that the three important functions of legislatures were legislative, deliberative and accountability, the Vice President said that while some legislative bodies were functioning well, in many of them, there was certainly considerable room for improvement.
Saying that the constitution has vested the Parliament with sufficient instruments through which it could enforce accountability of the government, Naidu said that the efficacy of these instruments could only be as good as the Parliamentarians and political parties who deploy them.
He asked the Parliamentarians to always be mindful and respectful of the aspirations of the common man and advised them to carry on with rectitude and propriety, serving as model citizens of the country.
"We need legislators who are well informed and well-intentioned and capable of articulating a well-presented viewpoint, not those who are eager to rush to the well of the House," he said.
The Vice President asked political parties to adopt a code of conduct for their legislators and contribute to policymaking through informed decisions.
He also asked the political parties to carefully choose candidates based upon their capacity, calibre, and good conduct and said that they must rise above the narrow considerations of caste and religion that seek to divide the society.
Calling for the need to constantly evaluate governance strategies and its outcomes, Naidu advised policymakers to be flexible and open enough to bring about course corrections whenever necessary. (ANI)