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Indian judiciary a strong pillar of democracy
December 10, 2013, 12:32 pm

Indian judiciary is strong and fiercely independent and the contribution made by the Indian judiciary to the democratic system in this country is enormous, revealed retired supreme court justice Cyriac Joseph during his recent visit to Kuwait.

Speaking exclusively to The Times, Kuwait, Justice Cyriac Joseph said the integrity of the Indian judicial system is recognized the world over and it is one of the major factors in protecting the democratic set up of India. Elaborating, he said, the independence of the Indian judiciary ensures that the law is upheld at all times and it is not influenced by
other organs of the democratic set up such as the legislature and executive. Pointing out that the judiciary in India is the creation of the constitution and hence protects the interests of the citizen, state and government as per the constitution.

He revealed that the whole election process is monitored by the judiciary which empowers the Election Commission to take bold steps in ensuring free and fair elections.
Hailing from Kottayam district in Kerala, Justice Cyriac Joseph retired early this year after an illustrious career that included positions as Chief Justice of the High Court in Uttarakhand, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court and Judge of the Supreme Court of India.

Commenting on the Indian judicial system, Justice Cyriac said the normal grouse against the judicial system was the slow process and the delay in meting out justice. The clogging of cases in courts in India is well known and the law commission had long ago recommended the ratio between the population and judges to be increased to at
least 50 judges for every one million people. New courts are being set up he revealed, but said the process was still too slow.

Justice Cyriac pointed out that a major step however has been taken in the amendment of Section 89 CPC providing for mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism (ADR). This amendment gives judges to look into the case and see if there are elements of settlement. If the judge feels so he may refer it to one of the alternative
dispute settlement methods like arbitration, mediation, reconciliation including the lok adalat.

This will help in speeding up and also the unclogging of cases, he disclosed; pointing out that ADR was gaining popularity in civil cases. Giving an overview of the present state of media trials, Justice Cyriac was apprehensive about the investigation and judgment carried out by the media, without proper verification of evidence or facts. This, he said, created opinions that may not be factual.

People tend to doubt the credibility of the system when the judgment passed is sometimes contrary. Commenting on some recent allegations on few judges, Retired Justice Cyriac said his vast experience showed that by and large the vast majority of judges were not corrupt. The judicial system enjoys a high degree of integrity and the people of India use it as a last resort with full confidence .

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