Double subordinate courts to deal with load: Kabir

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir Sunday urged chief ministers to double or at least increase the number of judicial officers in subordinate judiciary, with matching support staff and infrastructure, to deal with the increase in the number of cases.

“We need to improve the existing infrastructure and double or at least increase the number of judicial officers in subordinate courts,” the chief justice said.

Chief Justice Kabir said the Allahabad High Court has a sanctioned strength of 160 judges but the actual number of courts was 87 as it did not have the infrastructure to accommodate 160 judges.

Additional infrastructure did not mean buildings but also the support staff, he said at a joint conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts.

Chief Justice Kabir said that with the increase in population and the consequent increase in the number of cases and litigation, more courts were needed.

The chief justice said the judiciary needed the aid of the central and state governments to set up institutions and the dialogue for such interaction had to be institutionalised to give it a permanent shape.

He said certain constitutional duties that had been cast upon the judiciary, especially the higher judiciary, could only be implemented in true and proper spirit with the help of states and chief ministers.

“We require the aid of the central government as well as of the state governments to set up these institutions. The dialogue at the state level has, I understand, not been very much in past few years,” he said.

“Demands are made, representations are made that we need funds. By and large, the states have been generous and they always provided whatever funds we needed, except for few,” the chief justice said.

“In order to institutionalise it and in order to make it a permanent kind of settlement, this kind of dialogue was needed to be re-established with chief ministers,” he said.

Chief Justice Kabir faulted the poor investigation for the decrease in the number of convictions. “Today the investigation is not what it should be,” he said.

He urged the conference to deliberate the question of witness protection and appointment of public prosecutors.

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