NEW DELHI :
DAKSH and the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, Bengaluru released their report titled “Litigation Landscape of Bengaluru. Series 1: Bengaluru Rural Courts" at the TERI Auditorium in Bengaluru. The Chief Guest for the report release event was Justice N. Kumar (Retd., High Court of Karnataka).
The event also had two guest speakers, Ms. Anupama Hebbar (Advocate) and Mr. Ashwin Mahesh (Journalist) who provided their comments on the report.
DAKSH and the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, Bengaluru have collaborated in producing this Report, the first in a series aimed at better understanding the litigation landscape of Bengaluru. The objectives of this Report are to understand the structure and functioning of the subordinate judiciary, specifically in the Bengaluru Rural District; and propose measures to improve the status quo based on a scientific analysis.
The Report also provides stakeholder-wise recommendations to improve the efficiency of these subordinate courts in the short term, medium term, and long term.
As per the findings of the Report, land acquisition cases in the Bengaluru Rural district remain pending the longest in court at an average of 6.5 years, far longer than any other category of cases.
The Report also finds that across all kinds of cases, the stage where most of the cases remain pending for a long time is at the stage of service of notices/summons; to ensure the steady progress of a case without getting stuck at this stage, the report suggests the use of technology to monitor and ensure the timely delivery of notices/summons.
Further, it highlights the need for proper case allocation amongst judges in each cadre, as well as pushes for the implementation of the Karnataka Case Flow Management Rules, 2005 to handle case management in the district.
Speaking of support structures to aid judicial functioning, the report notes that infrastructure in courts needs improvement and there is a pressing need to ensure timely appointment of administrative staff in the courts as the Bengaluru Rural courts are said to function with a staff deficit of 57.94%; to this end, it suggests that a High Court committee be given the sole power to recruit administrative staff, rather than recruiting them through the lengthy processes of the Karnataka State Civil Services (General Recruitment) Rules, 1977, Karnataka Subordinate Courts (Ministerial and Other Posts) Rules, 1982, etc.
The discussions at the event were centred on various ways in which the findings of the report can help bring about reforms to tackle litigation in the Bengaluru Rural district. Justice (Retd.) N Kumar pointed out during the event, "Judicial system cannot be looked de hors the society. Litigation is controlled more by litigants than judges."Surya Prakash BS, Prgramme Director of DAKSH said. "There is an urgent need to do further research on this subject and to focus on implementation of existing rules and order lie case flow management rules."