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'Need to tone up judicial infrastructure'

Saturday January 12, 2013 09:20:41 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The judicial infrastructure needs to be improved to speed up the delivery of justice, a Supreme Court judge said here Saturday.

"Increasing the number of judges alone will not help in speedy disposal of cases," Justice Madan B. Lokur said at a CII seminar on Technology to Enable Accessible and Speedy Justice.

Justice Lokur said increasing the number of judges should be followed up by toning up of the infrastructure at the command of the courts.

He also expressed concern over the low allocation to judiciary in the budget.

"The judiciary was allocated only 0.4 per cent of the budgetary outlay, which was quite insufficient," he said.

"The total number of courts in the country is going to be increased from 14,000 as of now to 18,847. Apart from more judges, we require land, new courts, modernisation of the existing courts, staff to help judges and resources, which will be hard to come by in this situation, when there are many other challenging agenda before the government," he said.

Justice Lokur, also the chairman of the e-committee of the apex court, said: "Many far-reaching steps will be taken in the next one year or so in speeding up delivery of justice with the help of technology".

Foremost is video-conferencing among judges, he said.

To track down and reduce petty cases such as bribes demanded by various segments of people, he said photos or audio images taken by anybody of an act of corruption could be considered as evidence.

The Central Vigilance Commission, he said, had developed a software linking all criminal courts, prisons and police stations.

This system, when adapted, would help courts decide on granting bail to under-trials without them being present in the courts, he said.

Also, such a software would help track history of under-trials and people who stand on sureties and even the age of the cases.

Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice A.K. Sikri said judges should be apace with technology to ensure speedy justice, particularly on cyber crimes.

Also, judges had to be sensitised about carrying out speedy justice in cases related to rape, discrimination against the HIV-infected and the destitute, he said.



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