Patna, Feb. 23: Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir today expressed concern over growing practise of “media trial” and emphasised on quick disposal of crores of cases pending in various courts across the country.
“It (media trial) is a matter of grave concern. This should not happen. The issue should be left to the courts to decide,” he told reporters on the sidelines of East Zone Regional Judicial Conference on administration of criminal justice.
To a question on reducing the age of juvenile from existing 18 years to 16, the demand for which came from various quarters in view of involvement of a juvenile in Delhi gangarape case, the CJI said, “It can be only be done by Parliament and nobody else can do it.” On the issue of witness protection, he said: “Witness protection should be there.”
Justice Kabir also stressed on the need for an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme for quick disposal of around 3.5 crore cases pending in various courts across the country. “We can’t stop cases from growing as population is increasing and so are litigations (cases). There will be arrears. So we need to have ADR through mega lok adalats or mediation process,” he said while addressing a seminar on the role of lawyers.
The seminar was organised by the coordination committee of three lawyers’ association of the high court at A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies in the capital.
Citing the example of a mega lok adalat in Madhya Pradesh, Justice Kabir said around six, 13 and 27 lakh cases each were settled at three mega lok adalats in Madhya Pradesh recently. “If this is done throughout the country, the ADR scheme can help a lot in reducing the pendency of the cases,” he added.