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Governor calls for speedy justice

GOVERNOR TV Rajeswar on Sunday expressed concern over growing pendency of cases in courts and appealed to the judiciary to take measures to provide speedy justice to litigants. He suggested that witness? statements be video-recorded to prevent them from retracting later from their original statements. He also urged judges to consciously decide cases and not postpone them unnecessarily.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2006 01:11 IST

GOVERNOR TV Rajeswar on Sunday expressed concern over growing pendency of cases in courts and appealed to the judiciary to take measures to provide speedy justice to litigants. He suggested that witness’ statements be video-recorded to prevent them from retracting later from their original statements. He also urged judges to consciously decide cases and not postpone them unnecessarily.

He was speaking as the chief guest at a valedictory session of the 38th convention of the UP Judicial Services Association (UPJSA) at Ravindralaya, here. The Governor revealed 30 lakh cases were pending in the State’s subordinate courts —16 lakh on the civil side and 14 lakh on the criminal side.

ome of the cases, he added had been dragging on for the last 30 years with the conviction rate being as low as 5 per cent. He said the situation was not any better in the higher judiciary, but it was the lower judiciary, which first came into contact with litigants..

The Governor said there was a system of Fast Track Courts (FTCs) in the country and 242 such courts existed in UP to dispose of cases fast.

nfortunately, however, the FTCs, too, have drawn criticism for arbitrarily dismissing cases for ulterior motives, he pointed out, urging the judges to see if the criticism was true.

The Governor said the witnesses often retracted from the statements recorded during investigation, or at other stages. He cited examples of Jessica Lall and Zahira Sheikh cases to show how justice was derailed due to the witnesses changing their statements. He suggested that witnesses’ statements be video recorded.

“This will definitely reduce the possibility of witnesses retracting from their statements,” he believed. He appealed to the judges to consciously decide cases instead of postponing them unnecessarily.

Speaking on the occasion, senior High Court judge Justice Jagdish Bhalla said that he was aware of the appalling conditions in which the judicial officers were functioning, but told them to remember that they were doing a divine work of dispensing justice to the people.

He advocated better coordination between the Bar and judicial officers for speedy justice.

First Published: Apr 17, 2006 01:11 IST