New Delhi: India cannot achieve its economic growth without a robust judiciary overseen by an adequate number of judges, Chief Justice T.S. Thakur said on Sunday.
A robust judicial system was needed to attract foreign investment and to make the Make in India campaign a success, he said here.
“Those whom we are inviting (for investment) are also concerned with the judicial system and justice delivery,” the head of the Supreme Court said.
“Efficacy of the judicial system is so vitally connected with the development of the country.”
Justice Thakur was speaking at the inaugural of the joint conference of chief ministers, chief justices of high courts and Supreme Court judges.
He said the country’s judiciary, dealing with an “avalanches of cases”, suffered from a poor judge-population ratio and perennial vacancies.
The ratio was dismal compared to even other developed countries.
“It is not enough to criticise. You can’t shift the entire burden on judges,” he said, pointing out that nine judges of the American Supreme Court together decide 81 cases in a year whereas a judge in the Indian Supreme Court decides 2,600 cases a year.
“There is a limit on the capacity of judges’ performance.
“The only remedy is to establish more courts and increase the strength of the judges to 50 judges per million population,” Justice Thakur said.
He said that despite the poor judge-population ratio and vacancies, the recommendations by the apex court collegium for the appointment of judges were pending with the government which was taking its own time to act on them.
Pointing that “nothing really appears to be moving”, Chief Justice Thakur said all that was happening was the shifting of buck between the central and state governments on addressing issues related to the judiciary.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered to set up a committee of government officers and people from the judiciary to address the issues flagged by the head of the country’s judiciary.
“I will make efforts to address the serious concerns raised by the chief justice,” Modi told the conference.
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