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Punjab Govt
April 20, 2008



Must speed up the justice delivery system-
Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court

Chandigarh, April 20, 2008

The Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice Vijender Jain today enlisted a number of suggestions like categorization of cases, quick availability of documents to the litigants and lawyers and unstinted support of Court Staff and its registry to speed up the justice delivery system and for effective court management.

Mr Justice Vijender Jain said this while inaugurating the first-ever conclave of judicial officers at Panchkula today. The conclave was attended by the judicial officers from the subordinate judiciary as of the higher judicial services of Punjab and Haryana, besides the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

He said that categorization of cases raising similar issues particularly the mass litigation cases like land acquisition cases or income tax cases if dealt in one group would go a long way in effectively dealing of cases.

The Chief Justice said that good court management practice required that information pertaining to a case was timely and readily made available to the lawyers or litigants. He said there should be no cause for the litigants to complain against non- availability of documents relating to the certified copies of an order or the decree-sheets. If for some reason, these documents were not available, information in their respect could be disseminated through the internet or an interactive voice response (IVR) mechanism. The creating of website would enable those who have access to internet to obtain necessary information any time.

The Chief Justice said that the efficiency of the courts depended upon Court staff and the Registry as they were the backbone of the system. Court management could not succeed without their unstinted support. They were responsible not only for all the documentation but also giving effect to miscellaneous orders passed by the Court. However, he called for strict vigil on them so that any act done by an individual should not tarnish the image of the judiciary as a whole.

He said the subordinate judicial officers could perform miscellaneous tasks including identification of issues, attempting to limited disputes arising out of pleadings and actively participating in alternative dispute resolution system. This would make them participative functionaries in the overall processing of dispensing quick justice and recognizing their status as one of the stakeholders in the judicial system, he added.

He said that an essential prerequisite for achieving the goals of reforms was an efficient and transparent legal system. The legal system that enables economic choice, promotes ethical and sound business practices, cut transaction costs and enables healthy commercial dealings through fair contacts was as essential as good infrastructure and sound polity. Quick settlement of disputes especially in economic and commercial transactions was necessary for free economy. Economic growth of a country was also dependent on the kind of justice delivery system, he added.

Mr Justice Jain pointed out that every 17th person in the country had a case going in the courts while six per cent of the country's population was affected by the litigations. In Punjab and Haryana more than 10 per cent of the population had been affected by the litigations. He stressed at the need of quickening the pace of justice and shortening the time period by the trial of the suits and criminal proceedings and by the appeals, revisions or reviews arising out of them, he added.

The chief justice said that despite addressing delay in justice at innumerable stages, nearly 30 million cases were pending in various courts all over the country; this figure for a population of 1400 million was an exorbitantly large. He warned that if this trend was not checked, the rate of pendency was likely to continue with the growing population.

Enumerating the causes of the delay, Mr. Justice Jain said these included loopholes in the law itself, inefficient police investigation methods, redundant and voluminous paper work lack of infrastructure and also lack of judicial officers.

He said that while intensive and extensive studies of the problems faced by the judiciary had been carried out yet no effective grassroot solution had come about. Giving example, he said that Criminal Procedure Code had been overhauled and several tribunals had been set up to provide quick, informal and inexpensive remedies to the litigants. The attempts at managing judicial system had tended to be isolated and sporadic, without looking at the overall picture. Consequently, he said "the legislative changes have only a cosmetic effect and did not become part of the solution. What was required is a CT-scan to find a unified and cohesive solution taking into account the hard realities of the litigation at various levels".

He suggested capitalization of the revolution in the information technology as also to identify the changes for the advantage of the judiciary. He said that for any management to succeed and t his equally applied to the court management, it was essential to identify the stake holders. Each of the stake holders-the judges, the lawyers, the litigants and the court staff including the registry- had a specific role to play for ensuring the success of the case management and the court administration.

According to Mr Justice Jain, the time and effort had to be invested in case management so that the progress of the litigation was effectively monitored. He said the judge must determine the general complexity of a case so that its progress could be effectively managed.

Justice T.P.S. Mann of Punjab & Haryana High Court and Mr. H.S. Mattewal Advocate General Punjab also attended the conclave



Chandigarh April 20, 2008

– Wheat procurement in Punjab is all set to exceed the figure achieved last year.

According to Mr. Harcharan Bains, Media Advisor to Chief Minister, the state and the central agencies had procured 69 lakh Metric Tonnes of wheat from markets across the state for the central pool last year while the present trends indicated that the figure could cross the 80 lakh Metric Tonnes for this season.

Giving figures on the status of procurement in the state, Mr. Bains said that despite the delay in the start of the procurement operations because of inclement weather, a total of 26 lakh 68,982 Metric Tonnes of wheat had already been purchased till last evening (April 19,2008). Although the figure was somewhat lower than that achieved last year (29 lakh, 22,170 MTs), the difference was largely because of the comparative absence of private buyers. Significantly, however, the daily arrivals and purchase had already crossed the relative figures for the same period in 2007. The state agencies procured 5.55 lakh Metric Tonnes of wheat on Saturday ( April 19,2008) while the figure for the previous year for the same day stood at 4.59 lakh MT. The trend continued also for today and the total procurement was likely to exceed 5.75 lakh MT for Sunday.

Mr. Bains attributed the decline in purchase by private agencies to the strict vigil being kept by the government against hoarding and black-marketeering tendencies. 'In addition, as per the new regulations, any private player who bought more than 10,000 MTs of wheat is now required to file a return with the government. Prior government permission is required for the purchase more than 15,000 MTs of wheat.'

The Media Advisor further said that the government agencies were fully geared to pick up and clear the entire stock from the Mandis. "There has admittedly been some difficulty at a couple of places in the state in immediately clearing the procured stock but this problem was caused by the sudden glut in arrivals because of the pressure caused by the anxiety about the weather. As the arrivals had been somewhat delayed earlier by unhelpful rain and winds, there was a sudden rush for sale as soon as the weather cleared. "However, logistics have been strengthened and streamlined to cope with the heavy inflow.The government will procure and pick up every single grain that arrives in the Mandis," said Mr. Bains.

Regarding the payment to farmers, Mr. Bains said that the government had ear-marked Rs 8500 crore for timely clearance. "Wherever a delay in payment is reported, the government will act firmly against anyone responsible. There is no dearth either of funds or of political will for payment to farmers," he said.


Chandigarh, April 20, 2008

Six government agencies and private millers have procured more than 26.68 lac tonnes of wheat in Punjab.

According to an official spokesman Government agencies and private millers procured more than 26.68 lac tonnes of wheat till Saturday evening. Out of total procurement of 26, 68,962 tonnes of wheat in all the procurement centers of Punjab, Government agencies procured 26, 21,838 tonnes of wheat (98.2%) till date whereas millers have lifted 47124 tonnes (1.8%) of wheat. Till April 20, PUNGRAIN had procured 4,67,982 tonnes (17.8%) whereas MARKFED procured 6,42,336 tonnes (24.5%). PUNSUP procured 606877 tonnes (23.1%) , PSWC procured 335199 tonnes (12.8%) whereas PAIC was able to procure 321669 tonnes (12.3 %) of wheat.

The Central Government agency FCI had been able to procure 247772 tonnes (9.5%).

He added that Patiala District with 604113 tonnes of procurement was leading in procurement operations whereas Sangrur District with 489810 tonnes of procurement was at second slot and Ferozepur district with 354565 tonnes of procurement ranked at third position.

The State Government has set up over 1600 procurement centres and activated its total machinery to ensure smooth procurement of wheat, the spokesman added.



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