PM to address joint conference of CMs, Chief Justices of High Courts

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New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the inaugural session of the joint conference of the Chief Ministers and the Chief Justices of High Courts on Sunday.

The Chief Ministers of all the states and Chief Justices of all the High Courts have been invited to the conference, which would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi.

Union Law and Justice Minister D.V.Sadananda Gowda will give the welcome speech. The Chief Justice of India, H.L. Dattu, will also address and will then preside over the working sessions, accompanied by the Minister of Law and Justice and two senior most judges of the Supreme Court of India.

The conference is periodically held to address pressing issues relating to the administration of justice in the country. The last such conference was held on April 7, 2013.

A comprehensive agenda has been drawn up for the conference. With 2.64 crore undecided cases in the subordinate courts and 42 lakh cases in the High Courts, expeditious disposal of cases is the key issue to be discussed. To address this issue, the agenda includes discussion on development of infrastructure, undertaking judicial reforms, ICT enablement of courts and specific steps required for reduction of arrears and ensuring speedy trial.

The government is committed to improve the ease of doing business in India. The role of the justice system in this regard will be discussed in the conference.

The 14th Finance Commission has endorsed a number of activities aimed at improving the justice delivery system at an estimated cost of Rs. 9749 crore over the next five years and has urged the state governments to undertake these activities from additional devolution of funds to states.

The Chief Ministers of States and the Chief Justices of the High Courts will discuss modalities of funding these important initiatives.

Several important issues have been included in the agenda of the conference of the Chief Justicesto be held preceding this joint conference. These include developing a National Vision and Mission Plan for the justice sector for 2015-20, salaries and emoluments of sitting and retired judges, promotion and service conditions of judicial officers in the subordinate judiciary and greater financial autonomy for the Indian judiciary.

Strengthening of legal aid services, alternate dispute settlement mechanism, judicial academies and juvenile justice system will also be discussed.

The Central Government has undertaken many initiatives to improve the justice delivery system. Rs. 3131 crore has been released to the states for development of infrastructure since 2011 and another Rs. 1947 crore was released under the 13th Finance Commission for ADR Centres, Judicial Academies, Lok Adalats, Training etc.

The conference is likely to discuss how to leverage this investment for improving justice delivery. The first phase of the e-Court Mission Mode Project has just concluded with an investment of about Rs. 600 crore, under which case data of 13672 courts is now online.

The National Judicial Data Grid presently covering courts under the jurisdiction of 21 out of 24High Courts is available to the judiciary for improving case and court management and judicial performance.

The conference is expected to come up with definite outcomes in the form of resolutions for implementation by the judiciary and the Centre and state governments.

cerdit; (ANI)

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