Saturday, January 22, 2011

Law Ministry Of India Must Implement Its Projects

Law Minister Veerappa Moily has announced many crucial projects and plans. They are landmark in nature and if implemented would go a long way in bringing judicial reforms in India.

The only problem seems to be that Law Ministry is taking way too much time to implement these projects and plans. In the absence of actual implementation of these projects, they would just remain mere promises and nothing more.

For instance, our judicial system has come to a complete halt due to growing number of cases in India. The arrear of cases is increasing day after day. Although national litigation policy of India (NLPI) has been declared by Law Ministry, it has remained mere promise alone with no actual implementation.

Similarly, reforms in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms of India are long overdue. Although reenactment of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 has long been suggested, there is no progress in this regard except a consultation paper by Law Ministry.

On the front of use of information technology for legal and judicial purposes in India as well Law Ministry is well behind the required initiatives. There is neither use of online dispute resolution (ODR) in India nor we have even a single e-court in India.

In fact, Law Minister Veerappa Moily has recently himself observed “I have seen enough for one-and-a-half years. This year is for implementation”. This shows the appreciation of difference between mere promises and their actual implementation.

Even on infrastructure front, Indian courts are in a dismal state. The Centre has allocated Rs 5000 crore for judicial reforms, of which Rs1000 crore will be used for enhancing the infrastructure in subordinate courts. Many undertrial prisoners were released recently as a policy decision taken by Law Ministry. This was the only positive step taken by Law Ministry of all declared promises.

Finally, there is an urgent need of good research and training institutes for training of judges, lawyers and police officers in India. Presently, we have a single techno legal research and training centre managed by Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB). Law Ministry must utilise the techno legal expertise of institutions like PTLB for its various projects and plans.

It is high time for Law Ministry to deliver results as mere promises would not improve the declining standards of legal and judicial system of India. With a statement from Law Minister himself, we could expect some actual results very soon.