SC ISSUES NOTIFICATIONS FOR ESTABLISHING GRAM NYAYALAYAS5 min read

BACKGROUND:




The Supreme Court (SC) issued a notification to the states that have not established Gram Nyayalayas to establish the same within four weeks. 

The bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna, and Krishna Murari were considering a PIL filed by the National Federation of Societies for Fast Justice. Appearing for the Federation, Advocate Prashant Bhushan, placed before the bench the details of the steps taken by various States for establishing and functioning of Gram Nyayalayas under the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008. The court noted that though some States have issued Notifications for establishing the Gram Nyayalayas, all the established Gram Nyayalayas are not functioning. In some of the States, the proposals for establishing the Gram Nyayalayas are pending before the High Court for consultation and some of the States have not yet initiated the process of issuing Notifications for establishing such Nyayalayas, the bench observed. In this context, the bench issued the following directives. 

“Because of the above, we direct the States, who have not yet issued Notifications for establishing the Gram Nyayalayas, to issue the same within four weeks from today and place copies of the same before us with an affidavit. We also request the learned Chief Justices of the High Courts, where the constitution of Gram Nyayalayas and appointments of its members are pending, to expedite the process of consultation with the respective State Governments”, opined the court. 

The bench noted that the States of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Telangana, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, and Odisha have not yet filed their affidavits in compliance with the earlier directions issued by it. Therefore, it directed them to file their affidavits within one week, subject to deposit of Rupees One Lakh.

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CURRENT ISSUE:

The Gram Nyayalayas Act, promulgated in the year 2008, was enacted for the establishment of village courts for easy access to the justice system and the judiciary in the rural areas of the country. The act was enacted to provide for quick and effective accessibility of a judicial system in rural areas where there lies an absence of a judicial system.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, the counsel appearing for the petitioners submits that the State of Goa has issued Notification for establishing 2 Gram Nyayalayas under the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 but none are functioning there; the State of Haryana has issued Notification for establishing 3 Gram Nyayalayas but only 2 are functioning; the State of Jharkhand has issued Notification for establishing 6 Gram Nyayalayas but only 1 is functioning there; the State of Karnataka has issued Notification for establishing 2 Gram Nyayalayas but none are functioning; the State of Kerala has issued Notification for establishing 30 Gram Nyayalayas and all are functioning there whereas the State had to establish 152 Gram Nyayalayas; the State of Madhya Pradesh has issued Notification for establishing 89 Gram Nyayalayas out of which 87 are functioning; the State of Maharashtra has issued Notification for establishing 25 Gram Nyayalayas out of which 23 are functioning whereas the State had to establish 351 Gram Nyayalayas; the State of Odisha has issued Notification for establishing 22 Gram Nyayalayas out of which 16 are functioning; the State of Punjab has issued Notification for establishing 2 Gram Nyayalayas, both of which are functioning; the State of Rajasthan has issued Notification for establishing 45 Gram Nyayalayas and all the 45 are functioning there and the State of Uttar Pradesh has issued Notification for establishing 113 Gram Nyayalayas out of which only 14 are functioning, whereas the State had to establish 822 Gram Nyayalayas.

QUESTION OF LAW(SC issued a notification to states):

The question of law that is to be answered here is: whether or not the notification passed by the Supreme Court is justifiable or not. It is to be noted here that the Supreme Court is in full authority to exercise its power to issue notifications/orders. 

Clause (2) of Article 32 reads as follows:

The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders, or writs, including writs like habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part.

In the current case, the court directed the states that had not initiated the process to establish Gram Nyayalayas to issue notification for the same within 4 weeks from the date of order and further file the copies of the notification along with an affidavit. Further, it directed the Chief Justice of the High Courts to expedite the process of consultation regarding the establishment of Gram Nyayalayas that are pending before them. The court also directed the Union of India to consider the Evaluation Study of the Scheme of establishment and operationalizing Gram Nyayalayas, which recommends for the financial assistance and further directed to submit the views of the government regarding the same. While ordering to list the writ petition after 4 weeks, the court directed the registry to communicate the above order to the Chief Justice of all High Courts and Chief Secretaries of all the states through the mail and speed post instantly.

CONCLUSION(SC issued a notification to states):

In light of the arguments made, the SC ordered issued a notification to the states for the establishment of Gram Nyayalayas.

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