Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia has expressed disappointment over the slow pace at which high courts and lower courts decide graft cases. He said the judiciary should not lag behind in the quest to create a “corruption-free world”.
In a letter to chief justices of all 21 high courts, Justice Kapadia stated that the delay in disposing of corruption cases was harming efforts to “arrest” the social evil. “I have perused the statistics and rate of disposal of these cases till June 2011, and I have no hesitation in saying that the performance has so far been unsatisfactory,” Justice Kapadia said in a letter, the extracts of which have been made public by the Supreme Court under the Right to Information Act.The contents of the letter, which was written in November last, were provided to RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal, who wanted to know about the steps taken by the higher judiciary in combating corruption.
“I am of the firm view that cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act, in the interest of society, need special attention, and we must strive hard towards achieving the goal of zero pendency,” the CJI stated.
Justice Kapadia has advised the high courts to consider formation of special benches for effective and efficient disposal of these cases. The CJI has also sought effective monitoring of lower courts by high courts. “At the district level, disposal targets must be fixed, and these cases must be assigned to more than one sessions judge,” he stated.
He has suggested incentives for district judges who achieve their targets in deciding corruption cases. “Special efforts put in by sessions judges on this count can be kept in view while considering cases for advance increments,” the CJI wrote.
The government has so far maintained that it is providing all possible help, including financial assistance to bring down the number of pending cases, though the primary responsibility lies with the judiciary on how to resolve the problem.