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CJI seeks timely verdicts, judges opt to give up cases

New Delhi, Apr 9, 2024

Seeking to encourage high court judges to deliver timely judgments, CJI D Y Chandrachud has written to chief justices of HCs seeking data on cases in which verdicts have remained reserved for more than three months.
As CJs started gathering data, many judges simply released such cases for fresh hearing, the CJI said in a case in which an HC judge reserved verdict for 10 months after final hearing, then released it from his roster for fresh hearing.

Fresh hearing waste of time, costly for litigants: CJI to HCs

While taking up a case in which an HC judge had kept the judgment reserved for 10 months after final hearing but released it from his roster for fresh hearing, the CJI, heading a three-judge bench, said his intention was to identify those cases where judgments had been pending pending for a long time and expedite decisions.

“This will entail the litigants to engage lawyers afresh for re-hearing of the matter and incur further expenditure. Moreover, re-hearing of such released matters, in which judgments were reserved after full hearing, would be a complete waste of judicial time,” the CJI said.

Speaking on the tendency of certain judges to keep judgments reserved for months, the CJI said, “Seriously, I do not know what a judge would remember of the matter after months of reserving the verdict to write a judgment.”
In the case in hand, the CJI-led bench asked the HC judge, who had released the matter for fresh hearing, to take up the case to refresh his memory and deliver a judgment.

[The Times of India]

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