NEW DELHI: The number of courtrooms available for lower courts in the country is less than the sanctioned strength of judges in the subordinate judiciary, according to a law ministry document, which states that the focus now is to match their numbers.
Once the numbers match, it will help improve the functioning and performance of the judiciary in the country, the document says.
The agenda paper circulated to members of the parliamentary consultative committee attached to the law ministry states that “there are only 17,576 court rooms/court halls and only 14,363 residential units available for district and subordinate courts in the country”.
It says that this is against 22,288 sanctioned strength of judicial officers/judges of district and subordinate courts in the country.
“The focus is, therefore, to match the number of court halls/court rooms with the number of sanctioned strength of judicial officers/judges in the district and subordinate courts. This will help in improving the functioning and performance of the judiciary in the country,” the agenda paper states.
On November 16, the government had decided to continue with a scheme sponsored by it to develop the infrastructure of the lower courts, which would help complete the construction of 3,000 courtrooms and 1,800 residential units for the judicial officers of subordinate courts.
The Union Cabinet had decided to extend the scheme beyond the 12th Five Year Plan, till March 31, 2020, to be implemented on a “mission mode” through the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms, with an estimated outlay of Rs. 3,320 crore.
The cabinet had also approved the setting up of an online monitoring system, with geo-tagging, by the Department of Justice, enabling data collection on the progress and completion of the courtrooms and residential units under construction.
The scheme, government believes, would increase the number of courtrooms and residential accommodations for judges and judicial officers of subordinate courts all over the country, including those at the district, sub-district, taluka, tehsil, gram panchayat and village levels.