The Centre and states have acquired the “government is largest litigant” tag, accounting for 70% of the 3 crore cases—over 2.1 crore—pending in various courts.
Now, the Centre has formulated a National Litigation Policy (NLP), which will help it and the states shed this shameful tag in the next four years and decongest the dockets of the courts. Law minister Veerappa Moily will announce the policy on Wednesday.
First and foremost, the policy, drafted by Attorney General G E Vahanvati and vetted by Moily, aims to make “appeal not mandatory in every case”. It will put in place a comprehensive mechanism that will impress upon departmental heads not to go for appeals and litigation against citizens just to harass them. The “let the court decide” attitude will be given a go bye, NLP stressed. In addition, it will provide efficient lawyers to government departments by selecting them through a strict scrutiny and will remove any government panel lawyer if found seeking repeated adjournments.
Arbitration will be the main stay for resolution of disputes and arbitration would be made corruption free by vetting arbitration agreements and providing a clause to sack lawyers who delay the process.
Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN