Chief Justice of India TS Thakur made an unusually direct, and an emotional appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the number of judges. This, he said, was a result of the pending cases which he wanted to get clear, improve the investor sentiment and also hasten the economic development of the nation. CJI TS Thakur was speaking at the Joint Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts in Delhi on Sunday.
The Chief Justice of Supreme Court broke down several times while giving his half hour speech which was directly addressed to the Prime Minister present on the dais at the Annual Chief Ministers and Chief Justices Conference. He simply attacked and blamed the government saying that they were stalling the appointment of the judges to the High Court. Besides that, he also blamed the Centre that they were not doing anything to increase the number of judges in the country, as a result of which the poor man was denied of justice.
The Chief Justice, known for his toughness on Judicial pendency, sought the legislature to ‘rise to the occasion’ for development of the country and also stressed on the fact that the pending cases cannot be simply shifted to the judiciary.
CJI TS Thakur said, “Whether a foreign investor invests will depend upon his faith in the ability of the country’s judicial system to deal with his cases. Efficacy of the judicial system is vitally connected to the development.”
Pointing out the problems ahead of PM Modi’s ambitious plan ‘Make in India‘, CJI said, “We want people to come and Make in India, we want people to come and invest in India. But those who we are inviting are also concerned about ability of judicial system in the country to deal with the cases and disputes that may arise out of such investments.” He further added, “Therefore, it is not only in name of the poor litigant, but also in the name of development of this country, its progress, that I beseech you to rise to the occasion.” He also pointed out that 434 judicial vacancies in the High Court are waiting to be filled.
He said that they are not asking for the funds, but for the development. PM Modi had suggested in August gathering that courts should work on holidays as they would be able to deal with pressure, to which CJI replied, “Judges don’t just go to hill stations during breaks, they spend this time on writing judgements and on clearing their desks so that fresh cases can be taken up.”
Since the previous government, the population of the country has grown. Chief Justice said that the judges from the other countries wonder how we work under such stressful conditions. Still, people have faith in us that everything is moving but nothing is moving.
He also pointed out that the in the year 1987, the law commission had suggested that there should be 50 judges per million people, but nothing has worked till now.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he will try to resolve these issues. He also extended invitation to the Chief Justice with his colleagues to discuss the same.