SC notice on PIL seeking two-fold increase in judges

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the central government on a PIL seeking a twofold increase in the strength of judges at all levels of judiciary from trial courts to the apex court for securing fundamental right of fair trial and speedy justice.

A bench comprising Chief Justice T.S.Thakur and Justice R. Banumathi issued notice on a PIL by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking the implementation of the Law Commission’s 245th report which is essential to secure the fundamental right of fair trial and speedy justice to the citizens.

Upadhyay, who apart from being an apex court advocate, is also spokesman of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit, urged the court to direct the central government to expedite judicial reforms as suggested by the Law Commission in its 221st and 230th reports.

Seeking the doubling the strength of the judges, he also sought implementation of the resolution of the Advisory Council of the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms and the resolution of the Chief Justices and Chief Ministers Conference 2013.

“Judicial reform is not only necessary to secure fundamental right of fair trial and speedy justice to every citizen under the Article 21 of the constitution but also essential to control the prevailing corruption, crime, casteism and communalism,” says Upadhyay in his PIL.

“Expeditious trial”, he maintained, “is a basic right of every accused, which cannot be trampled upon unless it can be shown that the accused itself is responsible for the delay.”

Inordinate delay in bringing an accused to trial or in preferring an appeal against his acquittal, are violative of article 21, said Upadhyay, adding in PIL that “undue delay in execution of death sentence is also violative of article 21”.

“It has been recognized that the constitutional guarantee of a fair trial and speedy justice is an important safeguard (I) to prevent undue and oppressive incarceration prior to trial, (II) to minimize anxiety and concern accompanying public accusation, and (III) to limit the possibilities that long delays will impair the ability of an accused to defend himself,” says the PIL.

–IANS

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