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Higher court judges don’t want to tackle complex disputes: SC

Supreme Court said judges may have lost their will for hard work.

Providing an insider’s perspective on the functioning of the higher judiciary,the Supreme Court today said that judges may have lost their will for hard work. A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan said judges in the higher courts prefer not to tackle “complex or complicated” disputes,and prefer to pass the buck to their brother judges or even to the lower judiciary.

“Of late,we have come across several orders which would indicate that some of the judges are averse to decide disputes when they are complex or complicated,and would find ways to pass on the burden to their brethren or remand matters to lower courts not for good reasons,” Justice Radhakrishnan,who wrote the judgment observed.

And few other judges,the verdict says,just in order to maintain a good disposal rate or for “statistical purposes” prefer to “get rid of the cases” all together,or drive the litigants away with an order to approach other authorities. These authorities then tend to decide disputes which the judges should have decided,the judgment said.

This predicament created by judges,the court said,often leads to a stage when “causes of action which otherwise had attained finality,resurrect,giving fresh causes of action”. “Duty is cast on judges to give finality to the litigation so that parties would know where they stand,” the court said.

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The apex court passed the direction while quashing a Uttarakhand High Court’s direction to the state to pay a compensation of over Rs 70 lakh with interest to Sunil Kumar Vaish,whose land was acquired by the government for setting up a printing press. The family of Vaish was earlier evicted from the place by the government on the ground that they were unauthorised claimants. The HC had passed the order in 2002 despite a Supreme Court order of 1981 dismissing Vaish’s claim on the land.

“Needless to say these types of orders weaken our judicial system. Serious attention is called for to enhance the quality of adjudication of our courts. Public trust and confidence in courts stem,quite often,from the direct experience of citizens from the judicial adjudication of their disputes,” the court observed.

The court said there is a duty cast upon every judge to give a proper reasoning for every decision made and recorded in a judicial pronouncement.

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“Judicial decision must be perceived by the parties and by the society at large,as being the result of a correct and proper evaluation of legal rules,proper evaluation of the evidence adduced and application legal procedure,” it said.

First published on: 17-08-2011 at 02:30:43 am
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