Evaluating District and Sub-Divisional Court Management in West Bengal

1Dr. Pradip Banerjee

2Pritam Banerjee

1Judicial Officer, LL.B., LL.M., MBA(HR), Ph.D. (Law),
22nd Year student of LL.M., Department of Law, The University of Burdwan, Golapbag Campus, Burdwan₋ 713104

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Abstract:

The society in a democratic polity cannot be conceived without a strong and independent judicial system. India, the world’s largest democracy, suffers from more than four crore pending cases across several district and taluka (sub divisional) courts at par the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) and such number has been raised by 13 percent only between 2019 and 2020. There are a number of judicial or legal procedural factors which contribute to the backlog that always lies in the limelight. On the other hand, the conflict and contrast between the aspiration and achievement of performance of the courts and judges are hardly measured. It is undeniable that without the development of internal management and governance, the judicial organisation cannot serve up to the expectation of the people. Accordingly, evolution of the Indian court management system as well as few marginalised arenas of the district and sub-divisional courts’ management and governance have been explored under this study. Furthermore, comprehensiveness of the specific problems spotted under each domain has been empirically verified from the perspective of different stakeholders of the justice delivery system (such as judges, lawyers, academicians, administrators and litigants) within the state of West Bengal. This study reveals that an effective and efficient judicial administration prevailed in ancient India. Under this research, nearly 9 out of 10 litigants believe that courts are functioning in less than optimum level as well as interestingly in every 3 out of 4 judges disclose that they spend more time in judicial works and less in administration. The study finds that some of those problems are glaring for all the stakeholders, while few of these are stakeholder specific. The statistical analysis also supports that all the stakeholders have commonality in some of the specific problems like, length of trial of a case is uncertain; workload in court delays timely justice; court lacks policy for time bound and cost-effective justice; and courts have poor infrastructure.

Keywords:

Court performance and governance, Court management, Court managers, Evolution of Indian court management, Judicial administration in ancient India, Key managerial areas of Judiciary, Obstacles for Indian trial courts.

Paper Details
Month02
Year2020
Volume24
IssueIssue 2
Pages9962-9972