Bengaluru, Feb 27 : Karnataka Law Commission chairman S. R. Bannurmath on Saturday appealed to the Karnataka government to improve the technical services in the legal infrastructure like providing internet, computers and updated software to allow High Court judges, advocate generals and other legal officers to discharge their duties properly.
Speaking after the launch of Karnataka dispute resolution policy and coffee table book on Karnataka Advocate generals and their contributions here, Bannurmath who was former Kerala High Court chief justice asked, "How can anyone function without interruption? Take my own case, whenever I come to my office (Karnataka Law Commission) at Vidhana Soudha, either the internet is not working, or the server is not working or even worse the computer is not working. Under such circumstances how can even anyone discharge their duties?" He added that the same is the case with the Advocate General's office and High Court judges too. "There are 20 lakh cases pending in the High Court of Karnataka and 15.2 lakh cases in subordinate courts. One of the main reasons for such high pendency of cases is lack of communication between law officers in higher courts with law officers of lower courts," he explained.
Citing his own experience, Bannurmath pointed out that when he was serving state prosecutor in Kalaburagi, one district law officers had not filed appeal against murder accused, who was acquitted for over 600 days only because he had not got any 'instructions' from Advocate General's office. "Advocate General's office must regularly monitor such things. For this the government needs to provide them with adequate infrastructure," he said.
According to him, of the 20 lakh cases, 4.42 lakh cases are related directly to the state government itself. "Of the 4.42 lakh cases, 3.20 lakh cases are filed against the government while in the remaining 1.2 lakh cases the government has filed cases. The government needs to augment the infrastructure in courts and legal officers offices," he argued.
He quickly added that high number of pendency was not just the phenomenon of Karnataka alone this is a country wide phenomenon.
The former Chief Justice also observed that the rise in the number of cases against governments in courts is a direct result of rise in activism. "The activism has not only succeeded in creating awareness of one's rights as a result of this many approach courts against governments. Most of the time, it gives relief in crucial issues, but in some cases this has also turned out to be impediment in implementing several initiatives," he said.