Judicial System in India
Any judiciary is an integral part of a country, especially democracy. As India is the largest democracy, we have a big judiciary which makes sure it safeguards the interests of its citizens. Similarly, our Supreme Court is at the top of our judiciary system. It is then followed by our high courts which operate at the state level. Further, there are district courts operating at the district level. There are also many more courts below this order. A judiciary has many roles to play.
In India, we have a Legal System that measures up rather well if assessed by the yardsticks of fairness and independence. Indeed, its activism and leading role in tacking social problems has received praise from throughout the world, as had its measures like Public Interest Litigations. Where it falls short, is in terms of speed and efficiency. Why is so, is a relatively complex and multifaceted topic and shall be discussed in little detail shortly. In today’s world we have made many great advances in the Information and technology sector. Computers have become faster, and much more powerful than before. And more importantly, they have become more user-friendly and cheaper. Computers have become not only an important source of information and entertainment but they have also contributed greatly to have make life more easy and efficient for people. All the big institutions like companies and other financial institutions like banks and stock markets are totally dependent on computers. This has made them more efficient and robust. In the light of this, I would like to say that it is time that we started using computers to help us make the judicial system in India more efficient and effective. There is an urgent need to implement this urgently as we already have a huge backlog of cases that is crippling the system and eroding the faith of the people in the system. The most fundamental problem facing the Indian Judiciary is the high backlog of cases. This backlog in turn translates into the delay in disposing of cases. And delay in dispossessing cases is a very serious concern as it erodes the faith of the people in the system and when nothing is done about it can also contribute in people losing all faith in the system and instead opting to go to parallel systems like the insurgent groups. Recently, while disposing of a land dispute case pending for a staggering 50 years, a Division Bench of the Supreme Court observed that “inordinate delay in the disposal of cases” has eroded faith in the judiciary and left the people “simply disgusted”.
India is a democratic country which is headed by the president. The major functions of the president include; powers to declare the state of emergency that allows the lower house (Lok sabha) to extend the five year term, chief legal adviser of the government and signing of the bills from the parliament (Manion, 2000). The members of parliament have an obligation to vote for a persistent president. Among the members of parliament is the Electoral College. An electoral college is made up of the lawmakers. The number of these members is proposed to be 4500. Also there is a post of vice president who is elected by the members from both the upper and the lower houses. An individual who has an obligation to chair the upper house is the vice president. The upper house of the Indian parliament is identified as Rajya Sabha (Goldstein, 1990). India has got the post of prime minister who is the head of the government affairs. Some stages are usually followed during the selection of a prime minister. First, a group of individuals from the lower house are expected to nominate the prime minister. Finally, the president is given the duty to select the Prime Minister (White, 1994). The prime minister is expected to advocate for the best ministers. He then leaves the remaining task to the president to select the ministers. The ministers then form the Council of Ministers. The parliament of India is proposed to have two houses. One of the houses is the lower house. This is also known as house of people or Lok Sabha that has got 552 members. 530 members come from various states in India, while 20 members come from the union territories of India and 2 members are representatives of the English and Indian communities (Almond, 1956). The president should dismiss the movements in the lower house after five years of operation. Unless the president exercises his power of declaring state of emergency, the lower house may precede the five year term of operation. For instance, the lower house in the years1962-1968 experienced extension due to declaring the state of emergency (Goldstein, 1990).
In the end, the Indian Judicial system is one of the unique features of the Indian Constitution. It provides a single integrated system of Courts to administer both Union as well as State laws. The Constitution of India is the supreme source of law in the Judicial System of India. Moreover it is the world’s longest written constitution. The Supreme Court of India is at the helm of the Indian legal system and it is the highest appellate body of the land. Below the Supreme Court there are High Courts and in every state there is one high court or one high court in two or more state or union territory, with mutual consent of the respective states and union territory. And below these high courts there are various subordinate courts in each district.
Almond, G.A. (1956). Comparative Political Systems. The Journal of Politics, 18, 391- 402.
Almond, G.A., Powell, B., Dalton, R., & Strom, K. (2008). Comparative politics today. 9th ed. London: Pearson Longman publisher.