As the matter passes, I would say that it will create difficulty. We should be very vigilant about that. I do agree that the pronouncement of the judgement should be on the same day when it is delivered. Our present experience is, it takes two or three months to make the pronouncement. They take it for disposal but no judgement comes within a period of two or three months. This is our experience. So, the proposal to pronounce judgement on the day it is posted for disposal, is quite welcome.

With regard to decree, there is some difficulty. We have been given 15 days' time. Until and unless we sanction sufficient staff to the courts, it is not practicable. Most of the courts working in our country are not sufficiently staffed. They do not have sufficient strength. If this is to be enforced, we will have to think in terms of strengthening the judiciary with sufficient staff and sufficient infrastructure.

The Government has fixed, 25,000 as the limit for non-appealable cases. Beyond that, appeal is allowed. This is a welcome step. But, in the changed circumstances I think it is a very small amount. We will have to raise it to at least 50,000.

Why should it be Rs.25,000? After all when this statute came into force, it was Rs.5,000. Why not raise it to Rs.50,000? I think it is a small amount and we will have to raise it. It is because all these cases will be taken in appeal.

Now filing of witness schedule along with the plaint is also quite welcome because there will be no posting for filing evidence or for filing witness schedule and all that. I do agree with this.

SHRI RAM JETHMALANI: Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would request the hon. Member to talk of those measures which are not welcome as it would save time. We all agree on those measures which are welcome. Let us talk of the differences.

SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN : With regard to execution of summons, there will be difficult in the present set up. We will have to overcome that by subsequent amendments because the plaint is asked to take summons within two days. That would definitely create difficulties. If seven days' time is given, it is all right. But two days' time is very less. So, justice should not be denied in the name of delay. Now, two days time is permissible in the present amendment. But seven days' time is reasonable.

As per clause 26, you have provided three adjournments. But what about the cost? No definite proposal is forthcoming? First application is allowable, but what is the cost? The second adjournment is also allowable and the third adjournment which is the final adjournment is also allowed. But you have not specifically provided whether it is high cost. I find no mention of it in the rules. I am sorry to say that. But if I am wrong I am prepared to correct it. There is no such provision in the Bill. If this provision would be made in the rules, that is quite welcome. So, there are other matters with which I am not dealing now.

In conclusion, I welcome the measure in the sense that it will prevent delays. Such a measure is quite essential in dealing with criminal cases also. I think he will be bringing another amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code in the near future. That is also quite essential. So far as the determination of civil cases is concerned, to some extent, the amendment is quite welcome and I hope that the Government will be very serious in implementing these decisions. I hope the Civil Procedure Code Act will be implemented with all sincerity and people will be given a feeling that justice is not denied to them. With these words, I conclude.

SHRI RASHID ALVI (AMROHA): Sir, I support and welcome the Bill with certain suggestions. It is an effort in the right direction. But I have to say that it is a small effort in the right direction as we have to think about the entire system. This system does not suit to this country.

Sir, whether it is judicial system or system of bureaucracy or system of police, the basic problem with our system is that they are adopted by us which were given by the British rulers.

All these are adopted by us as given by the British rulers. The British rulers created this whole system to make us slaves. We got Independence and without giving a serious thought we have adopted it as it is. This present judicial system does not suit this country and the common man of this country.

Delay in justice is certainly one of the problems. But the system is so complicated that for a common man or a poor person, it is difficult to get justice in this country. It is shameful on our part if I say that even after 52 years of Independence it is mentioned in the Punjab Jail Manual as to what shall be the uniform of an European jailor and what shall be the uniform of an Indian jailor. I want to bring this fact to the knowledge of the House as well as the hon. Minister. Alcohol consumption is allowed for an European prisoner whereas it is not allowed for an Indian prisoner inside the jail. We have never thought about it. It is shameful on our part.

I do not want to discuss now about the system of bureaucracy and the system of police. But I want to way that even today, after 52 years of Independence, a District Magistrate is more or less like the Chief Minister of a district. Just after having qualified an examination he is ruling over the whole district. The post of District Magistrate was created by the British people to keep all of us continuously slaves. Even today we have adopted the same system. A common man, say an autorikshaw driver or a person lying on footpath, cannot approach a District Magistrate. He cannot dare enter his house which is like a palace. A poor autorikshaw driver cannot approach a Superintendent of Police. Not only poor people, even if a Member of the Legislative Assembly who is elected by more than two to three lakh people or a Member of Parliament who is elected by nearly twelve lakh people goes to a District Magistrate, especially if he is in the opposition, he cannot get justice from the District Magistrate. We will have to think over the whole system. My suggestion is that this House should constitute a Commission in this regard.

I remember, in Supreme Court a dispute involving 18 acres of land which was filed in 1863 came up for hearing in 1993, after 130 years. The Supreme Court, after hearing the case, referred it back to the High Court. I have visited so many countries where I was told that in a criminal case a judge is empowered to visit the spot of the crime. He calls the accused to the spot; he calls the witness to the spot and decides as to what is right and what is wrong at the spot. It takes hardly three or four days, at the most a week. I do not want to take much time of the House. This sort of a system may be dangerous. I am not the final authority. The country which I referred to is Libya. I am not saying that we should adopt the system as it is. That was the reason why I was not naming the country.

But what I want to say is that we should adopt whatever good things that are happening in the world.

I want to narrate the incident of one criminal case. One person killed his wife knowingly well that it was wrong. After that, he was full of emotion and sentiments. Straightaway, he went to the police station and confessed that he had murdered his wife. Later on, he realised the very fact that he had done something wrong. He felt that he should not have confessed that before the police officer in the police station. He then engaged a good lawyer. That lawyer cross-examined that particular police officer who had put the accused behind the bars. The hon. Minister himself is a very good criminal lawyer. He knows this very fact very well. As I was telling, the lawyer cross-examined the police officer. He asked one question. He asked the police officer that when the accused came to him and made a confession, was it true that the police officer offered a cup of tea? That police officer was full of fears and he was scared of his job. He immediately said that it was not possible and he did not offer a cup of tea to the accused. Then, again, the lawyer asked the police officer whether he put the accused behind the bars and took the statement. The police officer said: "Yes, I took his statement." The point is that in the eyes of law, if anybody is making a confession under pressure is no confession at all. Just on this very ground, he was released while the court knew the very fact, the area knew the very fact that the accused himself had made the confession that he had murdered his wife. So, what I am saying is that the system is not fully suitable to this country.

1542 hours (Shri K. Yerrannaidu - in the Chair)

Mr. Chairman, my request is that we should think over it and we should constitute a Commission.

Now, I want to give some suggestions. As far as this Amendment Bill is concerned, the hon. Minister has made a provision in Section 10 by saying:

" a Single Judge of a High Court, no further appeal shall lie from the judgement, decision or order of such Single Judge."

It is all right. It will make speedy decision possible. But my submission is that a common man is living far away from Delhi. He may be living in Manipur, South India, Kerala etc. It will be difficult for him to get justice. It is very expensive to get justice from the Supreme Court. It will be very difficult for such a person to come to Delhi to file an appeal and get justice. I think the hon. Minister should reconsider it and the provision should be there that such a person must be allowed to go to a D.B. He can get justice there also.

As far as Clause 2 is concerned, it is stated: "In every plaint, facts shall be proved by Affidavit." My amendment is as follows: "If facts shall be supported by the Affidavit."

The third point is that this Amendment Bill has empowered the Oath Commissioners to record the evidence. The reputation of the Oath Commissioners has never been good in this country. I am not making allegations against every Oath Commissioner. But this is the procedure that just after having stamped on a paper, he charge rupees five or ten. It is his habit. In serious cases, if he is allowed to record the evidence, then it will not at all be good and it will be difficult to get justice.

There is one more thing which I want to say. Our system should be like this that a common man should have full belief in the judiciary. I want to narrate one incident here that in 1998 in Uttar Pradesh, one of the Chief Ministers came to occupy the office for one or two days. He went to the Allahabad High Court. Just within 24 hours, he got an order and he took the charge in Uttar Pradesh again.

But when the BSP filed a case in the Supreme Court under the provision of the Anti-Defection Law and it came up before a Bench of three judges in the Supreme Court, one judge was of the opinion that this party is right and these MLAs would cease to be Members. At the same time, another judge was against it and the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was of the opinion that this case should be referred to the Constitution Bench. I think it will come up after five years and God knows better when it will come.

Sir, I remember one case where an industrialist, Shri Thapar got bail during the night, at 12 o'clock from the Supreme Court. He did not bother to go to the District court, he did not go to the High Court; instead he went to the Supreme court and got bail late in the night, at 12 o'clock from the residence of the Supreme Court judge. Such type of cases creates so many doubts in the minds of the people. So, my submission is, if the common man of the country leaves his fate in the judiciary it will be the worst day for the democracy and for our country. In the end, I, once again, request that a Commission should be constituted to reconsider the system in the country.

SHRI V.P. SINGH BADNORE (BHILWARA): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill. I think, this Bill is really praiseworthy. Nobody could have piloted it better and would have done a better job than the hon. Minister. Firstly, I suppose, it is his dream that he can come up with a Bill like this, to shorten the procedure for getting justice. There is a famous saying that `justice delayed is justice denied' and that is what, I suppose, must be at the back of the Minister's mind.

Sir, I can go on talking about a lot of good things about the Bill. But they have, already, been put forth in this House. Let me put forth some other hurdles, some other bottlenecks which need to be addressed and which may not be there in this Bill. I suppose, I may not have the suggestions, but he may have the answers. In the rural India, when the poor people want to knock the doors of justice, they have a problem. Firstly, they do not understand law and the lawyers also lead them astray, because it is in the interest of the lawyers that the case is kept pending. If it is kept pending, the lawyers benefit from it. Will the Minister come out with some measures so that these hurdles can be addressed?

Sir, I suppose, for a person like me, it would be a nightmarish situation that I get into a litigation and I would like to avoid it. An ordinary man would hate to be going and knocking the doors of justice and that fear should also be addressed. In the rural India, it is also in the interest of the rich and the influential that a case goes on and on, because the rich get advantage out of it.

He tires out the common man. It tires out the poor. It tires out the man in the rural India who is totally dependent on one case. He would like to go in for arbitration or some sort of `samjhauta' or the other. You must also look into that. I do not know if you have the answers. But these are the only two or three points which I wanted to raise. Thank you very much. (ends)

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