What a 38-year-old turmeric scandal says about business in India
By Upmanyu Trivedi and Ruth Carson
PM Narendra Modi is eager to convince global companies and investors that India is a business-friendly alternative to . A top court ruling this summer told another story, highlighting the infamous judicial delays that threaten to stymie businesses and scuttled deals.
The Supreme Court ended the 38-year saga of an alleged turmeric forger, who was arrested in 1982 and, eventually, sentenced to a month in jail and a 500 rupee ($6.70) fine. After a decade, the top court reversed his conviction; the two lower courts took around 14 years each to render verdicts.
The lifespan of the turmeric case is extreme but not unique among the nearly 40 million cases pending across the country’s three-tiered judicial sy em. Among cases in 25 state high courts, roughly 173,000 have been pending for more than 20 years, and roughly half of those for more than 30, go nment data showed.
The World Bank ranks India in the top one-third of countries for overall ease-of-doing-business, but when it comes to enforcing contracts -- a measure of legal efficiency -- the south Asian nation lands in the bottom 15%, worse than Pakistan, Syria and Senegal.
“It’s pretty incredible,” said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank in Singapore. “The complety, the unnecessary delays -- it shows how India lags countries like in their judicial sy em and just how much further they have to go.”
Part of the backlog is a result of judicial vacancies. In 25 high courts, which hear most of the commercial disputes, 37% of judgeships were vacant as of August 1, according to go nment data. In the lower district courts, the most recent data identified a vacancy rate around 23%.
India’s law ministry told Parliament in 2019 that it is coordinating with the judges of the Supreme Court and high court to fill up the vacancies. Emails and phone messages seeking comment from the law ministry remained unanswered.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/p/50631.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
The cases in the SC and HC are pending for decades not because there are not enough judges but more than that the Courts are getting busy in flimsy issues and many cases not even need any judgment. Also many cases are not being cleared only because the po iticians, mafias, goon and rings of attorneys and land grabbers forced Courts to delay the matter indefinitely. There must be a law to clear cases in a specified time limits or the arbitrators should decide the outcome.
India is yet a feudalistic country
Most of the cases in lower courts can be solved in days if SC directs and forces both parties to sit at arbitration and increases efficiency of judges and updates them
Our judiciary is a mess.My personal experience of waiting for judgement on something where no opposition ested. Have another one pending for 16 years. god bless India
Don’t you think India has a great deal to catch up with in the kind of media has managed to fashion over the years ?
If adjournments are allowed non-stop then there is bound to be delay and lawyers are also happy as they get paid for doing nothing. Writing judgement can be avoided as no judgement is given
Our Judiciary must also do reforms fast. Why the Govt delays filling up of vacancies is not understood!
hari krishna Johri
A few years back may be 2015/16, then retiring CJI with full of emotions requested Feku to arrange to fulfill thousands of vacancies in Judiciary but it appears nothing has been done in this direction. Still the Judiciary is short of Judges & notoriously slow.
Modi visited every Country on Earth, got nothing for Nation. Did no good. Some bad.
The Civil Procedure code has to be amended to take advantage of the tech revo tion now. There must be a cap on the number of adjournments. Antiquated methods of serving summons and hearings should be replaced.
We needed leader with vision, years wasted.
No go nment in independent India has taken serious ne of working of Judiciary.Till now we have not addressed the first principle of jurisprudence that Justice delayed is Justice denied. Common people of India feel that there is no Justice in this country except for influenced. In fact common man is afraid of knocking at the door of Judiciary today, because by the time justice is delivered, he may not be living in this world. The go nment, Hon'ble judges, advocates know what is wrong with the sy em, but look the other way.
there should be a time bound manner to deal with cases. The number of adjournment must be fixed based on the type of dispute.
From the way courts function in this country one is led to believe that the purpose of the judicial sy em is to provide employment to the millions of lawyers and judges manning it that keep it trudging along like a behemoth, all along trampling on the emotions of the compnants who dare to approach it for justice.
the current go nment is doing all it can to put India on track. the judiciary is working overtime. so it take years to reach a verdict.
Venugopal Reddy Kalva
Indian judiciary is the slowest in the world, neither they understand the difference between the criminal cases nor the economic impact of the delay
The judiciary is failing India in a big way and they have not even acknowledged that it is a problem.
Courts in India, does all the work but giving judgement on time.
Only because of courts this attitude, people have lost fa th in justice, rather then waiting for justice, people prefer to pay money to goons and blackmailers.