Editorials, GS-2, Indian Polity, Public Admin 2, Uncategorized

Not a court of everyday appeal

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How?

  • National Court of Appeal (NCA)
  • By establishing a more robust judiciary

National Court of Appeal (NCA)

  • Establishment of a National Court of Appeal (NCA)  would act as an intermediate forum between the Supreme Court and the various high courts of India.
  • It  would relieve the Supreme Court of the weight of hearing regular civil and criminal appeals
  • It will allow the court to concentrate on determining only fundamental questions of constitutional importance.
  • NCA’s regional benches would allow greater access to litigants from remote parts of the country, for whom the distance to New Delhi acts as a grave barrier to justice.

Problem with NCA

  • Supreme Court has today used the pliability of its power to grant special leave to often interfere in mundane disputes is therefore not a product of any structural problem, but rather of a deliberate decision by the court’s judges.
  • Viewed thus, it is difficult to understand how the creation of an NCA would somehow ease the burden on the Supreme Court, allowing it to eschew its authority to grant special leave; this power was, after all, always meant to be used only in exceptional cases, where a particular interpretation of a law required definite resolution.
  • The focus ought to be not on altering the core structure of the judiciary, but in aiming to make changes that are more pragmatic, that place an emphasis on the strengthening of the base of India’s judicial edifice.

 

A bottom-up approach needed

 

  • If socially conscious and meritorious women and men, who subscribe to the best constitutional values, are elevated as judges to our subordinate judiciary and the high courts, the idea of viewing the Supreme Court as a routine court of appeal can be renounced altogether.
  • This would allow the Supreme Court to be more discerning in its use of discretion, thus substantially reducing its burden of acting as a corrector of simple errors.

Road ahead

  • Our judiciary isn’t broken because of any deficiencies in structure, but rather because of the feeble infrastructure that we have installed to support our justice delivery system.
  • If we work towards establishing a more robust subordinate judiciary, it would not only negate any requirement on the part of most litigants to approach the Supreme Court, but it would also free the court of its shackles, allowing it to possibly regain its constitutionally ordained sense of majesty.

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