Minister to minister: Let’s settle petty traffic cases out of court
In a letter to transport minister Nitin Gadkari, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has suggested amending the Motor Vehicles Act to allow state transport authorities to adjudicate such matters.india Updated: Sep 20, 2017 09:06 IST
Nearly 40% of matters before courts pertain to traffic violations and settling them out of court can substantially reduce the burden on judiciary, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has written to his cabinet colleague heading the transport ministry, Nitin Gadkari.
Prasad, in his letter last week, has suggested amending the Motor Vehicles Act — the umbrella legislation for penalising traffic violations — to allow state transport authorities to adjudicate such matters.
The Indian judiciary at all three levels, more so at the level of district courts, is burdened with pendency of cases on one hand and large scale vacancies on the other that compound the problem.
Prasad said the law should be amended to create a provision that minor or petty traffic offence disputes should be resolved only by “designated senior officials of the transport department of the state governments.” Also, that the amendment will ensure all traffic challan disputes currently pending in courts “shall (be) deemed to be transferred” to such officials. The proposed amendment will also end the right to appeal in such matters.
The move, once through, could sharply reduce the number of pending cases in courts which currently stand at over 2.3 crore, a large proportion of these in lower courts.
“You are already aware, rising pendency and backlog of cases in courts is a source of immense concern for the government and the judiciary… The National Mission on Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms is looking into areas of law that are prone to excessive litigation and considering suitable policy and legislative measures to address it,” Prasad wrote in his September12 letter.
“One such area identified pertains to the traffic challan cases arising under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988,” he added.
The law minister said another 14% of the cases pending before lower courts and the high courts pertain to claims arising out of road accidents.