USD 5 trillion economy: Former CJI wants this legal reform to achieve the ambitious target

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Published: February 10, 2020 10:56:54 PM

The former CJI listed "giving confidence to investors that we have a system that works and you can come and invest comfortably and safely" as one of the main challenges before Indian judiciary apart from civil and criminal cases.

The former CJI recalled the contribution made by ‘Sardar’ Vallabhbhai Patel in building the nation by integrating princely states. (PTI)

Former chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Monday underlined the need to “curtail the right to appeal” in dispute resolution, saying such “refined ideas in jurisprudence” don’t seem to be doing anything good for the country. Addressing students of the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) here, the former CJI also called for “reforming” the current dispute resolution mechanism to achieve the USD 5 trillion economy as stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was delivering a lecture on the topic “Rebuilding the Judiciary: Nation Building”.

“What is this first appeal, a second appeal, Supreme Court..special leave..review, curative…What is all this? These are very very refined ideas in jurisprudence, but where does it get us? Is it doing anything good to the country? I do not think so,” he said. The former CJI also said that “arbitration is not working”. He said the job to resolve commercial disputes should be handed over to professionals instead of regular judges, and that right to appeals should be curtailed, as it is not doing anything good to the country.

“What is this arbitration act? An award passed by a former chief justice of India gets challenged before a district judge, and there is an appeal in a high court and then in the supreme court. Heads I win, tails you lose. Either way it goes to courts and it takes another decade,” the former CJI said.

“Entrust commercial disputes resolution to professionals, not to the routine judges dealing in civil and criminal laws. Give it to professionals, curtail the right to appeal,” he said. Justice (retd) Gogoi further said, “The Prime Minister of the country mentioned about the $5 trillion economy. If you want the $5 trillion economy, rebuild the judiciary like Sardar Patel built the nation. The judiciary that you have today is not going to bring you $5 trillion economy”. He said the dispute resolution mechanism needs to be reformed “in order to give confidence to investors that it works, so they can invest comfortably and safely in India.

“Why would foreign investments come? Investments mean disputes, and disputes require resolution. And if you don’t have a mechanism for dispute resolution, why would anyone come to invest here?” he asked. The former CJI listed “giving confidence to investors that we have a system that works and you can come and invest comfortably and safely” as one of the main challenges before Indian judiciary apart from civil and criminal cases. He said that 90 per cent of judges, though well-versed in civil and criminal procedures of courts, cannot be an asset in resolving commercial disputes. “Entrust commercial dispute resolution to professionals, not to routine judges dealing in civil and criminal laws. Give it to professionals, curtail the right to appeal,” he said.

While calling for the need to rebuild judiciary, the former CJI recalled the contribution made by ‘Sardar’ Vallabhbhai Patel in building the nation by integrating princely states. “Had Sardar Patel been alive for another ten years, perhaps India would have been a different nation,” he said.

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