Judge, infrastructure shortage cited for pending cases

IMPHAL, 15th Sep: High Court of Manipur Justice Kh Nobin has stated that shortage of judges and lack of adequate court infrastructure in the state is one of the main reasons behind the high number of pending cases in Manipur.
Speaking as the guest of honour at the 68th Foundation Day celebration of All Manipur Bar Association (AMBA) organised at Cheirap Court Complex here Sunday, Justice Nobin said that Judiciary is an important organ of the government and is responsible for serving justice to the people in a timely manner.
However, the state does not have adequate court buildings and other requisite infrastructure in all the nine districts of the state. Although, efforts are being taken up to construct court buildings of Thoubal, Bishnupur and Tamenglong districts, it is yet to be known when the constructions would be completed.
Presently, the courts of Imphal East and Imphal West are, sort of joined together. A proposal had been submitted to the government for separating the courts of Imphal East but it has been delayed, as there is no land available in Imphal East. The state government is unable to aid in the matter, as it does not have the financial means. Nonetheless, a Rs 700 crore proposal has been submitted to the centre for mending the various deficiencies of the courts in the state and their infrastructure, after consulting the High Court of Manipur and the state government, Justice Nobin informed.
Furthermore, the lower courts of the state currently have 40 judges, which is well below the required strength of 70 judges. Although the government had recently opened 10 posts in this regard, the posts are to be filled by promotion, for which no qualified judge is available. On top of this, the issue surrounding the recruitment of Grade-I held five years ago, is yet to be resolved due to some circumstances. Out of the 40 judges, seven judges would be retiring by May next year. As such, the inconveniences faced due to shortage of judges could become much worse, he remarked.
For now, a single judge is taking charge of 3-4 courts with the introduction of separate courts for CBI, NIA, POCSO, Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), etc. This has led to delay in hearing of regular cases, thereby leading to delay in timely delivery of justice to the people, the Justice stated.
Justice Nobin further said that although the government had set up the JJB separately, it did not established proper infrastructure of a Court or arranged staffers. If the government were to provide the basic requirements, it could help in reducing the number of pending cases.
“The prolonged pending of cases have made the people lose faith in the police and the Courts, which has led to the rise of mob violence and banishing the accused persons from localities”, he contended.
In his speech as guest of honour, Law minister L Jayantakumar said that Manipur State Legal Services Authority (MASLSA) has been playing a key role informing the people of the state with regard to Law. He then observed that the judiciary system in the state seems to be experiencing a breakdown in the last 10 years, the main reason being human tendency to break the law. “An example of this is security personnel on duty giving salute to a vehicle with a flag post, which is being driven on the wrong side of a one-way. Thus, the law department needs to organise a seminar with the judiciary to change such mentalities, he asserted.
CAF & PD minister Karam Shyam, who also attended the function as guest of honour, said: “Our society is full of flaws and if we want to rectify them, we must change our respective selves first. A society would progress peacefully when we are aware of our responsibilities and carry them out sincerely.”
Delivering the chief guest speech, Manipur Legislative speaker Y Khemchand said that the courts have always helped in resolving various serious issues in a country, while adding that they are also responsible for bringing peace to the country.
Presided over by AMBA president Maibam Nilachandra, the function was attended by MP Dr Rk Ranjan, advocate general N Kumarjit and High Court Bar Association president N Ibotombi as guests of honour.
As part of the function, floral tributes were offered to photographs of departed members of the Association along with observing a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed souls.

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