What Is Wrong With Our Judiciary System ?

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According to Wikipedia, judiciary in India administers a common law system of legal jurisdiction by which all the codified customs, precedents and legislations collectively form the law of the land. In fact, this system has been inherited from the colonial powers and the princely states since the mid-19th century. One of the most important feature of Indian Judiciary is its independence. Independence of the judiciary has been held to be a basic feature of the Constitution which means that it cannot be taken away by any act or amendment by the legislature or the executive.

Supreme Court is the highest level of judiciary in India and its judgments are binding on all the lower courts. Similarly, the judgments of High Courts are also binding on the lower courts and also on other High Courts. These judgments act as precedents which must be followed in consequent similar cases.

Before 1970, the length of these judgments were reasonable. These judgments were easy to examine and were to the point. The language of these judgments was also simple and understandable. However, after 1970, the length of these judgments has increased considerably making it difficult for the people to comprehend its point. Now, all judgments have minimum of 10 pages comprising of completely unnecessary contents.

It is necessary to point out here that the first 9 pages of these judgments never really speak of the judgment. It is only the 10th page which gives the clear picture of the judgment and also the reasons behind giving the final order. This decision to make the judgments unreasonably lengthy has wasted a fair proportion of time on writing such long judgments when the same time could have been used in deciding other important cases.

Not only length but also the language of these judgments have been through extensive changes. Now the language of these long judgments is vague, ambiguous and unclear. Such is the uncertainty of these judgments that every judgment may bring out at least 4 different meanings of it.

Not only that, these long judgments are also referred by lawyers and advocates in similar cases. These advocates find it extremely challenging to understand the language of these lengthy judgments while preparing for their case. Subsequently, they consume much of their time in reading through long judgments than on preparing their entire cases.

The judges of the lower courts also suffer considerably from these lengthy judgments as they have to consider all the lengthy judgments presented by all the parties and this process takes up a lot of their valuable time. Due to this, sometimes these judges also get confused by the ambiguity of the lengthy judgment.

In conclusion, this may be the end of the year 2016, but Indian judiciary is still stuck with the common law system of the mid-19th century. No initiative is ever taken to lessen the burden of a common man when he reads these judgments.


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