Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said his government remained committed to working with judiciary for improving delivery of justice. Speaking at the concluding function of the celebration of 150 years of the Bombay High Court, Singh said the Law Commission was looking at improvements needed in court procedures for a better criminal judicial system.
Later in the day, Singh told IIT-Bombay students at their convocation, the present slowdown was not “inevitable or irreversible”. “The fundamentals of our economy are sound and with greater effort being made to mobilise latent physical and human resources, we can go back to the 8-9% per annum growth rate.”
At the HC function, Singh said, “An inter-ministerial group is examining amendments that can be made in the negotiable instruments act to look at increasing litigations arising out of cases of cheques bouncing.” Bouncing of cheques accounts for maximum pendencies in courts.
He said the government had launched a national mission for justice delivery in 2011 to increase access by reducing delays and arrears and increase accountability, apart from bringing a constitutional amendment bill for increasing the retirement age of judges of high courts.
Appreciating the achievements of the Bombay HC, Singh said it was remarkable that the first CJI, attorney general and solicitor general of independent India were from the Bombay HC and that its products occupy these positions even today.
Speaking at the function, CJI Justice SH Kapadia cautioned judges against judicial outreach. He said the judiciary must maintain its integrity to fulfil the expectations of the people and not judge cases on the presumption of corruption. He said if a question with political content is posed before the court and no legal precedence is available before it to decide the matter, it should be left to the executive or legislature to sort it out.