The Himachal government proposes to set up a National Law University in Ghanahatti on the city's outskirts of capital town, according to chief minister Virbhadra Singh. Inaugurating the three-day regional judicial conference of north zone states on the theme 'Strengthening justice delivery system: Tools & techniques', here on Friday, he stated: "Law students must be imparted quality education to prepare them to serve the justice delivery system in the best possible way. Besides plans for a law university, a judicial academy will be set up in Shimla to ensure knowledge of judicial officers is upgraded. This will go a long way in strengthening the justice delivery system in the state."
"I'm happy to learn the percentage of 5 years plus cases in the subordinate courts in the state has fallen below 8%," said the chief minister, who underlined the need for case-specific determination to ensure timely disposal of cases. "Case specific timetables are generally adopted to meet this object of individualized timely justice," he added while lauding the role of the state legal services authority in spreading legal literacy.
"The state government has formulated a litigation policy to settle disputes at prelitigation stage. There's no denying the fact that the institution of the judiciary has performed well but is under strain due to huge pendency and delay in disposal of cases which is a cause of great concern. Denial of timely justice amounts to denial of justice itself as the two are integral to each other," Virbhadra said.
Addressing the gathering, Himachal Pradesh High Court chief justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir thanked the state government for fulfilling all the demands put forth by them. "I also thank the government for considering the court's proposal to set up a law university in Shimla, land for which had been identified. The judiciary in Himachal Pradesh is one of the best in the country as reported in report number 245 of the Law Commission of India," he added.
State revenue & law minister Kaul Singh Thakur said: "There was a time when cases remained pending in the courts for years together, but with the fast changing world and adoption of new technology the backlog has been reduced to a minimum. Though the number of courts has increased over the years there is a need to speed up the justice delivery system. The state's judiciary had done a commendable job over the years and under the guidance of the present chief justice and stands bright and up-right in the country today."
Himachal High Court Rajeev judge Sharma said that there was no single or clear understanding of when a case should be counted as delayed.
Among those present on the occasion were Lokayukta judge LS Panta, HP state administrative tribunal chairman VK Sharma, Tripura High Court chief justice Deepak Gupta, Himachal chief secretary Vineet Chaudhary, National Judicial Academy president Geeta Oberoi, additional chief secretary VC Pharka, former judges of the Supreme Court and state high courts, advocate general Shravan Dogra, president of the local bar association Yashwardhan Chauhan, senior lawyers and other members of the legal fraternity.