This Article is From Apr 27, 2020

From 205 Cases A Day To 305 A Month: CJI Bobde On Lockdown Upside

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said the executive "can't allow the lives of citizens to be endangered. When that happens, surely the court jurisdiction will intervene"

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said lockdow has reduced crime.

New Delhi:

Three "organs of the government should act in harmony" at times of crisis, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde told NDTV today, responding to allegations in some quarters that the judiciary has been toeing the government line. "In times of crisis three organs of Govt should act in harmony for getting over the crisis... Patience is the need of the hour and the whole country is being called to exercise patience," Justice Bobde told NDTV.

Speaking of the huge crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Justice of India said all three arms of the government have their own responsibilities.

 "Epidemic or any disaster can be best handled by the executive. In all cases relating to COVID-19, we have asked executive what steps are being taken," the Chief Justice said. It is for the executive to decide "how men, money, material should be used and prioritized".

"Undoubtedly, the executive can't allow the lives of citizens to be endangered. When that happens, surely the court jurisdiction will intervene," Justice Bobde added.

As for the judiciary, he said the courts were doing whatever they can during this crisis. "We are not taking rest and we are working and disposing of the cases.  We work 210 days in a year as per our calendar," he said.

Asked about the migrants issue, which has reached the top court, the Chief Justice of India said, "We have done whatever we can, asking the executive what steps taken to help migrants".

The court is hearing a petition which has asked it to direct the Centre and states to allow migrant workers stuck amid the lockdown to return home if they test negative for the COVID-19 virus.

The pressure of litigation on courts has reduced, the Chief Justice said. In January this year, 205 cases were filed daily in the Supreme Court. But in April, only 305 cases have been filed through e-filing.

Explaining the drop, the Chief Justice said, "Cause for action is not happening because of the lockdown. Thieves are not committing crime. The crime rate has come down. Police action has also gone down".

Overall, "things important for litigation are not taking place", Justice Bobde added.