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Ministers have to ensure new laws do not lead to litigation

Ministers have to ensure new laws do not lead to litigation
In future, if a central ministry plans to bring in a new law, it may have to declare whether its enactment will lead to a spurt in court cases.

The ministries will also have to ensure that the new law or an amendment to an existing Act does not lead to a increase in litigations, a senior government functionary has said quoting a document.

The note has been written by Minister of State for Law P P Chaudhary to his senior minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and the Cabinet Secretariat.

The functionary said proposed bills should also focus on alternative dispute resolution to ensure that disputes arising out of laws are settled out-of-court.

If the government accepts the suggestion, then all future bills placed in Parliament would carry a “litigation assessment” clause and the ministry concern will have to explain whether it expects litigations once the legislation becomes a law.

“The focus is to ensure that laws do not attract court cases,” the functionary explained.

In the last week of July, the department of justice in the law ministry had held a meeting on ways to reduce litigation where government is a party. Chaudhary’s note is an outcome of that meeting.

According to the law ministry, out of more than three crore cases pending in various courts of the country, 46 per cent involve government departments or government bodies.

Last October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had termed the government as the “biggest litigant”, saying there was a need to lessen the load on the judiciary which spent its maximum time in tackling cases where the government was a party.

Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of the Delhi High Court, the prime minister had said the load on the judiciary could be reduced if cases were filed after taking a considered view.

He had said if a teacher approached a court over a service matter and won, then the judgement should be used as a yardstick to extend the benefit to thousands of others to reduce litigation at a later stage.

DISBURDENING JUDICIARY

Ministries will have to ensure that a new law or an amendment to an existing Act does not lead to an increase in litigations

The note has been written by Minister of State for Law P P Chaudhary to Ravi Shankar Prasad and the Cabinet Secretariat

If the govt accepts the suggestion, a ministry will have to explain before placing a bill whether it expects litigations once the legislation becomes a law 

The focus is to ensure that laws do not attract court cases 

In July, law ministry had held a meeting on ways to reduce litigation where govt is a party

The Business Standard, New Delhi, 25th September 2017

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