Manipur High Court and the Road Ahead

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IMPHAL, September 26: The North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012, passed will pave the way for creation of the High Courts by amending the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971.With the Parliament passing the Bill for setting up High Courts in Meghalaya, Tripura and Manipur, it is importantly to realize how this can be constructed efficiently in ways that it may not only help the people but also pave ways to better judicial system for the whole country. With the Government of India making good progress with the Look East Policy, the establishment of Manipur High Court will hopefully lead to the quicker delivery of judgement. Look East Policy will open the economy, which will in turn effect the socio-political system and therefore, greater need for an effective judiciary.

Any office of authority needs to be established in such a way it does not hamper or encroach the works of another office of authority. In the Parliamentary System of India there is judiciary, executive and legislation which have its own areas of duties. Therefore, a set demarcation between designations and offices needs to be made for all governmental offices. The judiciary is one such office of Government that needs to be independent of any such type of infringement of duties and designations. In a judgement delivered by the Supreme Court, in which the administrative executive alleged that the judiciary is encroaching on their powers, the Supreme Court established that judicial service cannot be in par with administrative service but in par with political executive and legislators. However the issue in Manipur is that, the judiciary is kept in lower hierarchy compared to that of administrative executive.

Judiciary being one of the co-equal arms of a government, it should be treated as such to make the government active and functional. However, District Judiciary or subordinate judiciary which is often called the backbone of the judiciary in Manipur is not yet developed to the desired level. For some districts, the court is located in Imphal which means people have to spend few days in Imphal since no work in Manipur can be finished in one day and incurring extra expenditure on the common man which is more burdensome for the poor. Every district should have proper prescribed judges according to the Constitution of India but sadly, there is only District and Session judges for the whole of Manipur. This leads to the backlash to the justice delivery system in Manipur, thus affecting the people of Manipur.

Manipur has the second highest number of pending cases in NE with 17,694 cases pending as on 30/06/2012 and with Manipur High Court on the cards, there needs to be a reconstruction and understanding of the difference between executive administration and judiciary. For an institution like judiciary, it has to be respected and trusted by the people. In the present scenario people seek alternate assistance to get judgement, maybe mob lynching or help of UG outfits; the establishment of an effective judicial system is very important. Therefore the infrastructure provided for judiciary system should be dignified and respectable so that justice reaches every doorstep.

 

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