Judicial Reforms

SC pushes for National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation (NJIC)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NJIC

Mains level : Judicial Infrastructure in India

The Supreme Court orally said that courts cannot wait on the whims and fancies of the Government, but need a proper mechanism for funding the development of judicial infrastructure.

National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation (NJIC)

  • The idea for such NJIC was first proposed by CJI Ramana in March this year, even before he took office.
  • It mooted the idea of an “umbrella national organization” that would take care of the need for judicial infrastructure.
  • Such a corporation would bring the uniformity and standardization required to revolutionize judicial infrastructure, said CJI.
  • Soon after he was sworn in, the CJI commenced work on the NJIC and a survey of 6,000 trial courts in various states was undertaken as part of this exercise.

CJI recommends the composition of NJIC

  • The CJI has said that the Judiciary is least interested in retaining control of the council.
  • The composition can be of the Union Minister for Law and Justice, the Secretary, Finance, etc.
  • The States can also be represented.
  • The benefit of having a senior judge or Chief Justice on it would be that they are in the know of things.

Why need NJIC?

  • No central agency: Presently, there is no agency to ensure use of funds allocated to augment judicial infrastructure
  • Infrastructure gap: There is a substantial gap in infrastructure and availability of basic amenities in the lower judiciary.
  • Lack of basic amenities: There is a lack of court halls, residential accommodation, and waiting room for litigants in trial courts, especially in smaller towns and rural areas.
  • Budgetary lapses: Experience shows that budgetary allocation for state judiciary often lapses since there is no independent body to supervise and execute works.

NJIC is expected to fill this vacuum and overcome problems related to infrastructure.

Significance of NJIC

  • The modernization of judicial infrastructure did not mean building more courts or filling up vacancies or ploughing through vacancies.
  • An efficient “judicial infrastructure” means providing equal and free access to justice.
  • This could be realized through a barrier-free and citizen-friendly environment.

 

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