‘Judicial Performance Index’ in News

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The Niti Aayog has suggested introduction of a ‘judicial performance index’ to check delay in trial and address the issue of pendency of cases.

In its draft three-year action agenda (for 2017-18 to 2019-20), the Aayog has suggested several judicial reforms, including increasing the use of information and communication technology, and streamlining judicial appointments.

The draft report suggested introduction of a ‘judicial performance index’.

Such an index could be established to help high courts and high court chief justices keep a track of performance and process improvement at the district courts and subordinate levels for reducing delay.

This would require fixing non-mandatory timeframes for different types of cases as broad guidelines to benchmark when a case has been delayed.

The index can also include certain progress on process steps that have already been approved by high courts, like burden of day-to-day activity being removed from judges and given to administrative officials.

This annual evaluation should give judges in high courts and district courts a sense of where they are failing and what they need to fix. Since the subordinate judiciary is largely within the domain of the high courts, this could also spur competitive reform of the judiciary in those states.

The Niti Aayog report has also suggested shifting some workload out of the regular court system and introduction of an administrative cadre in the judicial system.

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