Judicary, Parl need regular ‘institutional dialogue': CJI

RSTV Bureau

Dattu_CJIChief Justice of India H L Dattu on Sunday emphasised the need for continuous “institutional dialogue” and “coordinated effort” among legislature, executive and judiciary to resolve issues related to delivery of justice including the pendency of cases in courts.

Addressing a joint conference of Chief Justices of High Courts and Chief Ministers, Dattu also pitched for “financial autonomy” to judiciary in spending allocated funds and better pay packages for judicial officers to attract the best minds.

“Judiciary and Parliament are siblings. Both are children of democracy,” he said and underscored that legislature, executive and judiciary have to work as “equal partners” in administration of justice and they should hold hands and correct each other.

“…The difficulty in finding agreement does not mean we would not discuss…. It is important that we are open to suggestions, open to think out of box,” Dattu said noting that the continuance of the “institutional dialogue” among the three pillars of the democracy is important.

“Issues concerning administration of justice are so complex. They cannot be addressed by judiciary alone…. The executive also has a stake. Only a well-coordinated effort between the legislative, executive and the judiciary will achieve it.”

Noting that the issue of pendency of cases in courts, cannot be solved by the judiciary alone, the CJI said, “It requires efforts on multiple fronts and multiple agencies” including drastic change in administration of police and the work by the prosecution agencies apart from judicial reforms.

He also flagged the issue of low pay packages of judicial officers in India in comparison to the pay and perks of personnel in some other countries or those working in law firms, saying this has to be addressed to attract the top brains to the bench.

Dispute over conference on Good Friday unfortunate: CJI

Chief Justice of India H L Dattu termed as “unfortunate” the controversy surrounding his colleague Kurian Joseph’s objection to the holding of judges’ conference on Good Friday and said while all Supreme Court judges are invited, the presence of only top three is mandatory.

Seeking to downplay the controversy, Justice Dattu said the two-day affair on Friday and Saturday was actually not a ‘conference’ but a meeting where judges discuss among themselves issues and problems related to the judiciary.

When asked about the issues raised by Justice Joseph, he termed it as “unfortunate”.

“I am the head of the family . . . if one member questions me, we will settle it ourselves,” he told reporters in an informal interaction after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the joint conference of Chief Justice of High Courts and Chief Ministers.

He said as judges do not get time to interact with each other, such meetings are held periodically where important issues are discussed.

He said while all Supreme Court judges are invited, the attendance of top three apex court judges — the CJI and two senior-most judges in this case Justice T S Thakur and Justice A R Dave — is mandatory.