Niti Aayog is reportedly developing an annual performance review system for India's judiciary. The government think tank is also discussing on a proposal to make judges' rankings public in order to incentivise performance, The Times of India reported. The appraisal system will encompass more than 17,000 judges under the country's judiciary system.
The performance review system is meant to streamline the judicial process in India which has a backlog of more than 2.80 crore cases. The performance index will be built around at least six efficiency indicators which are yet to be finalised, the daily reported. These indicators will include caseload per judge, duration of proceedings, cost per case, clearance rate and the court budgets, among others, the report further said.
The judiciary, however, has opposed the proposal. Performance rating is serious encroachment of the executive on the judiciary and will weaken the institution, the report said while quoting a former chief justice of a high court.
No high constitutional functionary should be subject to fixed parameters, but rather they should have some discretionary powers, former Additional Solicitor General of India Bishwajit Bhattacharyya told the daily. He argued that judicial efficiency depends on higher compensation for judges, much higher recruitment, and bigger and better judicial infrastructure, the report said.
Niti Aayog also has plans to shift some of the caseload from regular courts in order to streamline the justice delivery system, the report further said. Commercial disputes will be handled by commercial courts and commercial appellate divisions of high courts, whereas criminal judicial magistrates will absorb some of the criminal cases in metropolitan areas, it further added.