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Rs 35 crore study to find effect of backlog on judges minds
January, 11th 2012

The Centre has agreed to conduct a study to find how the 14,000-odd trial court judges have been psychologically impacted by the continuous struggle to fight off 2.77 crore pending cases.

It informed the Supreme Court that it was ready to sanction Rs 35 crore for a five-year study to investigate the impact of pendency pressure on judicial officers and examine whether it adversely impacted the output of trial court judges. With the high courts fixing minimum disposal rate for trial court judges in view of the huge pendency, judicial officers in district courts are under a lot of pressure, given the inadequate infrastructure, to decide the minimum required disposals.

Amicus curiae and senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, assisting a bench of Justices A K Ganguly and T S Thakur in overall improvement of justice delivery system, had felt that heavy work load for a long period of time could cause psychological pressure on the judicial officers.

Among other suggestions to the court for improving efficiency of justice delivery mechanism, he had mooted a psychological study to analyse whether such pressure "ran down the morale of the judge, his efficiency and ability and consequent loss of output".

The ministry of law and justice, in its response to the suggestions, said "the study suggested can be taken up by the recently set up National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms".

It said the a scheme for "study of Judicial Reforms and Assessment Status" was being implemented by the Department of Justice but the term of the scheme was coming to an end on March 31, 2012.

"As the need for continuing the Action Research and Studies highlighted above is felt, the scheme may be continued during the 12th five-year plan period as an activity of the National Mission for Judicial Reforms and Assessment Status," the ministry said.

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