Justice Gogoi said pendency in district and subordinate courts is 2.68 crore cases (Representational)
Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjan Gogoi today said backlogs are plaguing the judicial system of the country and has gained it disrepute in the international community.
Justice Gogoi was delivering the Justice KN Saikia memorial lecture organized by the North East Institute of Advanced Studies here.
"Let us take stock of the hard facts. Against the 900 seats available in the different high courts of the country almost 250 are vacant. About 15,000 courts at the district and sub-divisional levels are functioning against the sanctioned number of about 18,000," he said.
He said that the pendency in the district and subordinate courts is a "staggering" 2.68 crore cases.
He said the national consultation for strengthening the judiciary towards reducing pendency and delays was held in New Delhi in October 2009 to facilitate an immediate solution.
The participants at the consultations identified two major goals for judicial reform - increasing access to justice by reducing delays and arrears in the justice delivery system, and enhancing accountability through structural changes and by setting performance standards and capacities.
It also formulated four strategic initiatives of policy changes, re-engineering procedure, human resource development, and leveraging information and communications technology, he said.
On right to privacy Justice Gogoi said it is protected as an intrinsic part of the Right To Life And Personal Liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution.
He also highlighted the importance of this act in line with the personal choices, transgenders, and other relevant subjects.
"The enormous challenges facing us today, combined with the pressing demands of the future, are compelling us to rethink and reassess our existing jurisprudence, to effectively deal with the increasing complexity of our problems", he said.
The event was attended by the Chief Justice of Guwahati High Court Justice Ajit Singh, all the current sitting judges and retired judges, leaders of political parties and senior government officials.