The District Courts are the court for every district or one or more district together depending on the cases or population distribution in the District. These are the courts of the State Government in India. District Court is the court of mainly Original Civil Jurisdiction other than the High Court of the State and which derives its jurisdiction in civil matters primarily from the code of civil procedure. The district court is likewise a court of sessions when it exercises jurisdiction on criminal matters under the Code of Criminal procedure
The district court is managed by a district judge appointed by the state governor with on the advice of state chief justice. Notwithstanding the district judge, there might be the number of additional district judges and assistant district judges depending on the work that is to be done. The additional district judge and the court presided have equivalent jurisdiction as the district judge and his district court.
The district court or the additional district court exercises jurisdiction on the original as well as appellate side in the both civil as well as criminal matters arising in the district. The territorial and pecuniary jurisdiction in common issues is normally set in concerned state establishments regarding the matter of civil courts. On the criminal side, jurisdiction is exclusively derived from the criminal procedure code. As per this code the maximum sentence a session judge of district court may award to a convict is death sentence.
The judges are appointed by the governor in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court of the concerned state.
PRESENT SCENARION OF THE DISTRICTS COURTS:
A visit to any lower court of the nation uncovers the ground reality in our nation about the legal establishment. It illuminates us about the regrettable conditions in which the courts functions to provide justice. One would notice absence of adequate facilities like toilets and drinking water particularly for ladies, senior residents and youngsters on the court premises. The more concerning thing is that there is an insufficient number of legal advisor’s chamber. Litigants are the people whose needs should be catered primarily as the courts owe their existence to them and the absence of such basic facilities on the court premises leads to the augmentation of difficulties for the litigants. As per the National Judicial Data Grid, there are around 3.3 cr. cases pending in the Indian courts, in which 2.84 cr. are pending in the District Courts and the excess is 43 lakh and 57,987 in the High Court and Supreme Court, individually. The five states which have the most elevated pendency are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar and Gujarat.
At the rate the cases are taken care of civil cases will never be solved and criminal cases will take over 30 years to be settled. There is one judge for 73,000 individuals in India which is even worse than the United States of America.
ISSUES WITH INDIAN COURTS:
Indian Judiciary Issues have been depicted in a few movies, one of them being a 2015, Marathi film, Court.
As per the World Banks, “even though India’s courts are notoriously inefficient, they at least comprise a functioning independent judiciary”. A functioning judiciary is the guarantor of decency and a powerful weapon against corruption. Corruption in the judiciary goes past the paying off of judges. A Court personnel is paid off to back off or accelerate a trial, or to cause a complainant to leave.
Citizens are unconscious of their rights, or resigned, after such a large number of negative encounters, to their destiny before an inefficient court. Court effectiveness is additionally vital, as a serious backlog of cases creates opportunities for demanding unscheduled payments to fast-track a case.
CONDITIONS OF INDIAN DISTRICT COURTS:
There is always a question that what are the reasons behind the inadequate administration of lower courts and the conditions of these courts. Essentially, the state of the district courts in India has developed time being in power yet at the same time, there are reasons for the poor and inefficient working of district courts in India. Despite the transformation of the District Judiciary system due to the laws operating in India and their dynamic nature. Still, the problems with the condition and functioning of the District Court have not been eliminated.
Conditions of Indian District Courts:
1. DELAYS IN JUSTICE– There are more than approximately 20 million cases pending in the district courts of India. There is no one to look at judicial administration and there is no guarantee that when the justice will be delivered. There are adjournment and rescheduling problem which also results in the delay of justice.
2. JUDICIAL CORRUPTION– Many factors attribute to judicial corruption. Such as complex procedures, delay in disposing of the cases, shortage of judges in the courts. The worst scenario in the Indian judiciary is that corruption has reached the highest court i.e. Supreme Court of India. Some of the cases that give us idea about the corruption prevailing in the judiciary system are:
- There have been allegations that judges with doubtful integrity were elevated within the higher judiciary and campaigns held for their impeachment.
- Debanjan Ghosh, a Judicial Magistrate in April 2017 has given bail to a person accused of murder and it was suspected that it was because a huge amount of money was involved.
- Prashant Bhushan Legal activist and Supreme Court lawyer stated in court, “out of the last 16 to 17 Chief Justices, half have been corrupt” in December 2009.
- Soumitra Sen, former judge at the Calcutta High Court became the first judge in the India to be impeached by the Rajya Sabha for misappropriation of funds in 2011.
- Justice Quddusi who was former Chief Justice of Odisha was also involved in huge corruption.
3. LESS NUMBER OF JUDGES– The proportion of judges over the population is so indiscriminate that we can’t blame the judges also for the pendency of cases. There are such a large number of pending cases due to such discrimination and it’s next to impossible for the judges to solve so many disputes in a single instance. Additionally, because of political weight, social impacts and different reasons make a burden on judges to deliver justice accordingly.
4. LESS NUMBER OF WOMEN JUDGES– Since the time immemorial the condition of the District court has been the same. There are no reasons explaining why the number of women judges in the district court are so less. Matters of family disputes, divorce issues, and maintenance etc can be more adequately managed by a woman judge.
5. EARNING OF THE JUDGES- Legal advisors acquire nearly higher than the judges. The judges are paid by the legislature at a fixed sum however it isn’t the same with the legal advisors. They charge expenses from their clients according to their desires and wants. This occasionally makes issues for clients.
Legal advisors are not up to date on the timings and don’t much of the times meet their clients. Demanding fees more than the client’s ability to pay in turn create blunder to even start the proceeding.
6. CLIENTS USUALLY DON’T TELL COMPLETE TRUTH TP THE LAWYERS- It is very commonly seen that the clients do tell the whole truth about the case to the lawyers. Hiding the facts and the evidence creates much of the problem later in the proceeding which delays the judicial process.
7. LESS NUMBER OF WOMEN LAWYERS– As compared to men, there is so less number of women lawyers courts of India. Women victims once in a while face trouble in opening up with the male legal counselors. Women don’t feel great in specializing in legal matters as a career because of numerous reasons. One of the principal reasons is that they need to manage a male culprit which for them is awkward however the time has changed there are expanding quantities of females who are pursuing law as their professions.
- It enables women to go to court all the more unhesitatingly when there are female legal counselors.
- Even women lawyers inspire many young girls who want to pursue law.
- Sensitive issues of sexual harassment, rape cases, dowry deaths, and suicidal cases ought to be managed by women judiciary also.
8. Inappropriate sitting facilities- Usually, there are fewer sitting facilities accessible outside the courts. They need to wait while remaining outside the courts for long whatever the climate is. Precisely the waiting area should be perfect, ventilated, infrastructure with washrooms and availability of drinking water. There should be a facility of entry of fresh air so that people do not face suffocation.
Various attempts have been made to remove and lower the problems of the Indian district courts. But they were not very helpful and the success rate was not so high. Few steps that can be taken to improve the conditions can be-
- More female lawyers and judges need to be appointed and promoted.
- Advocates should strictly follow the Advocates Act, 1961.
- Judiciary should need to play an active role in speedy trial.
- Corruption problem should be resolved.
- People must be aware of their rights and duties.
- Right of speedy trial should be protected with delicacy.
- Negotiation and Mediation techniques should be promoted.
This article is authored by Priya Pandey, student of B.Sc LL.B at New Law College Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune