Quality of judicial dispensation in India: are we ready to meet international expectations


The said article deals with the need for quick judicial dispensation in our country in order to match the expectations at International levels. Despite the diminutive size of the infrastructure, including the number of judges involved in the process and good efficient dispensation done by the existing Indian Judges, the fact remains that there are several aspects in the entire Judicial System, which require improvement and achievement of excellence at all levels beginning from Law education till rendering of the judgments at various levels, in a complex social and business world.

This article throws light in brief on these relevant aspects by the Author, a Judge in High Court for the last 11 years.




  1. The largest and thriving democracy on this planet, INDIA, unfortunately cannot boast today, after 70 years of its independence from British rule and with avowedly the best written Constitution, of a top class efficient judicial
    • The sheer size of diminutive infrastructure compared with the Goaliathic volume of case load, makes it humanly impossible to render quick and timely delivery of
    • The judge-to-population ratio(1) of 18 to 1 million (2)(21,598 sanctioned strength as on 31.12.2015 with a shortfall of vacancies as follows: 2 in Supreme Court, 432 in High Courts and 4,432 in subordinate courts; besides currently, only 16,513 courtrooms are available with a shortfall of 3,989 court rooms. This is the situation even if the aforesaid sanctioned strength were to be completely filled up). This ratio is abysmally low as against the recommended strength of 50 per one million of population by Law Commission in 1987 and developed countries’ standard of 100 per 1 million in USA. Forget ideal working conditions.

Judge: Population ratio per one million of population – Some countries data-

  • India 18
  • Australia 6
  • England 50.9
  • Canada 75.2
  • USA 107
  • During my visit to the Switzerland Supreme Court in September 2015, in an audio visual interaction with the Registrar General there about the working of the court surprised me. Against a ratio of about 8,000 cases in the Supreme Court and 38 Judges in Switzerland, in India, we have less than 30 Judges to deal with 70,000 cases. Additionally, in India, as you go down the hierarchy of Judges, there is a higher case load and fewer judges; working conditions also worsen. Some of the District Courts in India don’t have adequate and properly constructed courtrooms. With the kind of concentration and application of mind which one should expect in courts, it becomes a tall order in such working
  • I hasten to state here that I do not have any doubts about the quality of Indian Judges; it is second to none, and the quality of the Indian Supreme Court judgements is appreciated and relied upon world over. But the number game has its own effect.

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