Progressive Bihar - Finally the sleeping giant is waking up

Progressive Bihar - Finally the sleeping giant is waking up
Progressive Bihar - Come support it's growth path.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Strengthening the judiciary and the dispute resolution system.

We have made substantial progress in improving the law and order situation in many parts of Bihar. The intial efforts saw a lot of sweeping changes like reduced street crimes, reduced kidnappings, etc. People once again are gaining confidence to walk outside, for example on certain roads of Patna even after 7PM in the evening.

The next step requires more efforts, the results are not likely to be visible immediately but are very critical in improving the overall fabric of justice in Bihar. I am talking about strengthening the Judiciary and the mechanisms for dispute resolution; I am talking about faster resolution of cases in the judicial courts, courts of DMs (District Magistrates) or any other formal places of justice.

Often I find that because judiciary is week and habitually corrupt, many cases keep on dragging for a long time... Many times the cases just drags along even without any hearing happening... Dates are assigned for hearing a case and because of some reason or the other, the hearing doesn't happen on the assigned date.

Infact my family is also currently undergoing this where some part of a property we own was fradulently sold by someone to someone else and the buyer even managed to get this registered even though the property was in our name and we were no where close when this transaction happened. Over 3.5 years back, we have registered a case in the court of the DM who has the authority to resolve the problem, and with all the necessary documentation and evidence available the case can be resolved in 1-2 hearings only. But it has hardly made any progress. And for over a year now (maybe even 2), we just keep getting dates and for some reason or the other the hearing doesn't happen on the assigned date and we get a new date. And over the course of these 3.5 years, the DM at this place has changed thrice, thus compounding the problem.

Hence by this example I wanted to re-iterate that the government has to bring back the people's confidence, that has been lost, in the judicial system of Bihar.

It is also time for the government to focus on this aspect of improved governance and timely justice which are essential for an upcoming and developing economy to have so as to be able to attract increased investments and people's interest in developing Bihar.

One news article which caught my eyes and prompted me to share my thoughts above, was the article titled 300 crorepati babus in Bihar! This article talks about how 300 government employees earning modest salaries have become crorepatis by taking bribes and participating in underhand activities and how even though 71 such babus were caught by the state vigillance bureau till last month, only two have been fired while the rest continue to hold on to their secured jobs, continue to make their bribes and continue to stall the process of justice in their cases (and we can all guess what this delay can be attributed to). If the judiciary and the dispute resolution mechanism is strengthened, such babus will be punished faster sending out the right signals to all the other corrupt officials in the state, thus reducing the level of corruption across the state.

Nitish Kumar ji: An area where the law ministry has to focus on.

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