Joint Conference of Chief Ministers of States and Chief Justices of High Courts 

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A Joint Conference of Chief Justices of High Courts and Chief Ministers of States is being held oncoming Sunday i.e. 24th April, 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan, here in New Delhi . This will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the august presence of Justice Shri T.S.Thakur, Chief Justice, Supreme Court and Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Union Law and Justice Minister. This conference is held periodically to address pressing issues relating to the administration of justice in the country. Last year it was held on 5th April, 2015.

Chief Ministers of all the States and Chief Justices of all the High Courts have been invited to the Conference. The Joint Conference is an occasion for the executive and the judiciary to reaffirm their resolve to support a speedy, efficient and quality justice delivery in the country, and to discuss steps required to surmount the various challenges facing the justice system, such as inordinate delays in disposal of cases in courts, facilitating access to speedy resolution of commercial disputes by economic operators, making the justice system user friendly and affordable to all and improving the quality of legal aid services in the country.

A number of positive steps have been taken in the recent past to meet these challenges. The increased investment in infrastructure has resulted in India having more court halls in aggregate than functional courts. The e-Courts Mission Mode Project has enabled litigants and lawyers to access their case data and cause lists online and facilitated monitoring of courts and cases by the judiciary. The new legislation on setting up commercial courts and changes in the legislation on arbitration and negotiable instruments have brought the efforts to improve the ease of doing business into sharp focus for both the judiciary and the executive to act in unison.

These initiatives of the Government have further crystallised the issues still ailing the justice delivery system. Additional steps required for speedy resolution of disputes through improvements in court and case management system and simplifying the court procedures, strengthening the legal aid system and handling of cases involving juvenile offenders, implementation by the States of the measures related to the judiciary mandated by the 14th Finance Commission, review of quality of legal education and operationalization of commercial courts are some of these issues.

A comprehensive agenda on these issues has been drawn up for the Conference by the Government in consultation with the judiciary. It is an occasion for the constellation of Chief Ministers of States and Chief Justices of High Courts, who will gather in New Delhi to confer on these issues, to deliberate on the further steps required to ensure that the justice delivery system dispenses speedy, affordable and quality justice to all as well as contributes to the ease of doing business in order to achieve the desired economic growth.

This is one more effort of the Government towards Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. The Conference is expected to come up with definite outcomes in the form of resolutions for implementation by the judiciary and the Central and State governments. At the conclusion of the working sessions, the Chief Justice of India and the Minister of Law & Justice will also interact with the press and media at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi itself.