M J Antony: Judiciary on a shoestring

M J Antony: Judiciary on a shoestring

The position of judiciary in regard to self-protection in matters like infrastructure, human resources and remuneration is worse than the agony of statutory bodies like RBI and CAG in regard to functional autonomy. Their anxiety to protect the decorum expected of their position does not allow those who occupy the bench to come to open with questions like “Is justice delivery so unimportant that there is only 0.4 per cent of the GDP as Budget for the judiciary?”

While fast track courts like those now being established for sexual offences are welcome initiative which will sooth the immediate wounds to some extent, the flip side is such initiatives, if not supported by extra funding and additional manpower will further delay the disposal of other pending cases. The ultimate solution is, improvement in the infrastructure in government establishments responsible for administration of law and justice-this includes the police in uniform- and placing adequate manpower in place with the needed skill there and ensuring their reasonable ‘lifestyle’ needs, so that the employees do not have to keep their lower drawers of the table open to maintain a lifestyle expected of the positions they hold.

You will find secretaries in the government to the junior-most support staff in a village office compensating for the inadequately furnished, clumsy rooms without AC/fans in office going for posh, well-furnished houses with all facilities in good localities. Whether they manage it with salary or bribe, the cost is born by the common man. Then, why not factor in a reasonably good lifestyle commensurate with the job expectations from them in their remuneration package and provide better infrastructure in their offices? In any case the debit is to taxpayer’s account. Then why not allow transparency? If this is done, they will do their job better.

M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram


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