IntroductionThe problem of excess litigation by the government has led to an excess burden of pendency on the judiciary. As per the fact, half of all litigations in the Indian judiciary today are government litigations. Efforts have been made to bring down the litigation from government agencies by making them more responsible for filing cases with the help of the National Litigation Policy launched in 2010.
Current Problems faced by the judiciary
- Pendency of cases,
- Lack of nationwide digital connectivity across courts,
- Constant conflict between the executive and the judiciary,
- Pendency of vacancies of judges in various High courts and the Supreme courts,
- Inefficient working of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms
Recommendations of NLP
- The National Litigation Policy is based on the recognition that government and its various agencies are the predominant litigants in courts and tribunals in the country. Its aim is to transform government into an efficient and responsible litigant.
- Focuses on core issues associated with litigation and meeting them.
- Managing as well as conducting litigation in a timely, coordinated way.
- Litigation does not have to be won at any consequence.
- One who does not litigate just for the sake of it and does not make false pleas or technical points.
- The facts should be correctly presented and no attempt should be made to mislead courts or tribunals.
- This policy is also based on respecting the rights of citizens in any litigation process.
- The government must stop to be a compulsive litigant.
- To reduce Government litigation in courts so that valuable court time would be spent in resolving other pending cases.
- Prioritization in litigation has to be achieved with particular emphasis on welfare legislation, social reform, weaker sections and senior citizens.
Shortcomings of NLP
- It contains a lot of examples describing the problem but lacks an in-depth analysis addressing the reasons behind the excess government litigations.
- Though NLP 2010 provides for accountability but it lacks the definition of ‘suitable action’ that would be taken against those officials who violates the policy.
- NLP provides for setting up Empowered Committee for proper implementation but, there is a lack of clarity with respect to the role to be played by these committees. This increases chances of confusion and loss of transparency.
- Absence of adequate data which can be used as a monitoring tool for the success and effectiveness of the policy.
Reforms in NLP
- Necessary changes and reforms can be undertaken in the NLP which can offer a long-term solution to the rising government litigations. The government should make efforts to ensure that a dispute between two departments or public sector undertakings should not go to the court. There is need to ensure adequate accountability mechanisms.
- The government has to ensure that, for the smooth functioning of the judiciary and to provide timely justice to the citizens; NLP should be implemented at the earliest.
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