Explained: Gujarat High Court’s ‘Justice Clock’ and how it will help the public

The 7 feet by 10 feet LED display at the court premises will display disposal and pendency of cases, allowing for better transparency and openness

FP Staff January 21, 2022 12:45:44 IST
Explained: Gujarat High Court’s ‘Justice Clock’ and how it will help the public

A view of the Gujarat High Court. Image Courtesy: Gujarat High Court website

The Gujarat High Court has unveiled a new measure — known as the ‘Justice Clock’ — on its premises, to encourage transparency and openness.

The move was hailed by Supreme Court’s Justice DY Chandrachud, who said that it served as a “reminder to us that there are some higher values which guide our functioning and ultimately, we are here to subserve those higher values, namely, of dispensing justice to the common citizen".

Here’s everything we know about this new ‘justice clock’ and how it will help in the functioning of the court.

What’s the ‘Justice Clock’?

The ‘justice clock’ will be an outdoor display LED wall within the court premises to display disposal and pendency of cases.

As per The Indian Express, the 'justice clock', erected at the Gujarat High Court premises, measures 7 feet by 10 feet and is placed 17 feet from the ground.

The physical 'justice clock' will also have a virtual format and has been designed and developed in-house and will display data from the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) in real-time.

According to the Gujarat High Court website, the justice clock will show live statistics of the institution, disposal and pendency with the age-wise breakup of up to 10 years, 10 to 25 years and more than 25 years.

It also shows the number of cases listed today at the high court and across the state. The Justice Clock will also show the Case Clearance Rate (CCR) of the current day, the previous day, last week, last month, this year and last year etc.

Justice Chandrachud, according to a LiveLaw report was quoted as saying, "The measure will benefit litigants and the public at large."

He further stated, "I do believe that this initiative of the High Court of Gujarat will spread not only to all the district courts in the state but to all the other states in India as well where a justice clock in its virtual replica will become a permanent feature of every court establishment in the country. I thank Brother Justice MR Shah for making this suggestion and I intend to write to all chief Justices to replicate this not only in High Courts but all courts in the states."

Concerns over the ‘justice clock’

While everyone lauded the new move, Gujarat High Court Advocates Association president Asim Pandya did warn, however, that “in the zeal to show higher disposal of cases to the public, let justice not be sacrifice”, as per an Indian Express report.

Justice Clocks in other states

A justice clock is also present in Odisha. It was inaugurated in 2019.

Similarly, a justice clock is present on the premises of Calcutta's High Court after it was inaugurated in January 2020.

‘Just’ situation in Gujarat

According to the National Judiciary Data Grid, there are a total of 1.52 lakh cases pending in the Gujarat High Court, with 59 cases being more than 30 years old.

The oldest pending civil case dates back to 12 November, 1981, and the oldest criminal case dates back to 1990.

In the district judiciary in Gujarat, there are 19.75 lakh pending cases, comprising 4.57 lakh civil and 15.17 lakh criminal cases, with 6,596 cases being over 30 years old.

The oldest pending criminal case dates back to 28 September, 1976 in Rajkot, and the oldest civil case is pending since 26 April, 1974 in Ahmedabad court.

At the same time, since the COVID-19 outbreak triggered a lockdown from March 2020 till January 17 2022, 19.57 lakh cases were registered in Gujarat courts, out of which 15.95 lakh were disposed of.

With inputs from agencies

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