CJI inaugurates India's first evening courts

CJI inaugurates India's first evening courts
Ahmedabad, Nov 14 (PTI) The country's first evening courts today became functional in Ahmedabad and Rajkot with an aim to clear the backlog of cases in the state.

Chief Justice of India Y K Sabharwal inaugurated the evening courts in Ahmedabad.

Of the 27 evening courts, 22 are in Ahmedabad and the rest in Rajkot. These courts will function from 1815 hours to 2015 hours.

Speaking at the inaugural function, Sabharwal said "the problem of delay in dispensation of justice is not new. Law Commissions, numerous committees and reports have suggested ways to tackle this problem but unfortunatly on account of various reasons the backlog could not be reduced."

"The reason for it is we have the lowest ratio (among democratic countries) of judges in proportion to the population," the CJI noted.

The judicial infrastructure and number of judges cannot be increased overnight, he said.

"In these circumstances, we need some innovative methods to reduce the number of pending cases. Evening courts is one of them," Sabharwal said.

"We should remember the image of our democracy is dependent on the justice delivery system of our state," Justice Sabharwal aid.

Congratulating the state government and Gujarat High Court, the CJI said "you have set a tone, shown a path which can be of great help".

Sabharwal said it was Gujarat where lok-adalats were started and it was here again that mediation centres (for out- of-court settelment) were started. "Now, we are seeing evening courts coming up here."

He congratualted Chief Minister Narendra Modi who had proposed the idea of setting up evening courts at a meeting of Chief Ministers.

Referring to the protest from a section of lawyers against evening courts, Sabharwal said whenever a new beginning is made there is some resistance.

Lawyers of Vadodara protested against setting up of the evening courts. Due to the opposition, the state government and the High Court decided not to start these courts in Vadodara and opted for Rajkot, state government sources said.

According to a report from Rajkot, District Judge R P Dholariya inaugurated the evening courts at Mochi Bazzar in the presence of local advocates.

The courts will dispose of nearly 30,000 pending cases of Negotiable Instrument Act and those related to prohibition, hambling and accident among other offences in Rajkot, President of District Bar Association Piyush Shah said.

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