Mr. Justice A.K. Goel, Chairman of the Haryana State Legal Services Authority, my esteemed colleagues - Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice Ajai Lamba; Advocate General, Haryana; Home Secretary, Haryana- Mr. Bohria, Director General of Police - Mr. Dalal, Judicial Officers and police officers.


       To my mind, it is first inter-action staged in the country where the stake holders, who are responsible for administration of justice and the officers, who are responsible for maintaining law and order and are also associated with the task of investigation are gathered together in the interaction. As a matter of fact, when I assumed the office of the Chief Justice,I had asked Justice Goel that I would like that criminal cases pending in our States of Punjab and Haryana and Union Territory, Chandigarh should not take more than two years and in that regard Justice Goel apprised me that he had discussed this matter and it will go a long way if we have inter-action with the police officers and Judicial Officers to sort out the problem as to achieve this target. You will be discussing in detail all these points as the agendas have been circulated in advance. You will have the views of the Judges as well as the officers in-charge, who are from the police. I would only like to stress that faith of the people of this country in the administration of justice or with the police authorities should not be eroded on account of delay in disposal of the cases. When there is delay in solving the cases or disposal of the cases, it shakes the confidence of the people and when there is delay in the trial of the case, then both looses its credibility, i.e., the persons who are manning the administration of justice as well as those who are responsible for maintaining law and order and are also responsible for investigation, filing of challans and procuring attendance of witnesses. Therefore, in this direction I must say that this will turn out to be a historic meeting. If we can sort out the problem, which you are all aware of, whether it is of procuring the attendance of witness. You have to carve out new strategies in cases where an accused is absconding or there is a deliberate attempt to delay the investigation or trial by people who are influential. I am sure that we can achieve this that criminal trial in the State of Haryana must finish within 18 to 24 months. That will generate hope amongst the people, the consumer of justice. Inspite of the fact that there are shortage of Judges and may be shortage of the police personnel. I am talking to both. But we have to change the mindset. We must understand that we are in a Republican India. We are not here to serve the colonial empire or perpetuate any political regime. Rule of law must have its full play. There should be some kind of monitoring at district level and sub-division level. Monthly statement of the cases which are pending in the Courts and where an adjournment is sought by the prosecution either on account of a witness not being there or expert report is not being there or for any other reason and a Deputy Superintendent of Police must monitor it so that delay can be plucked. At the higher level, you are in a position to see that the adjournment of the case was because of certain problem at the end of the police, it should be immediately brought to the notice of the Head of the District, i.e., Senior Superintendent of Police or the Superintendent of Police, as the case may be. That will sort out the problem. Similarly, it is the duty of the District and Sessions Judge to monitor that why trial of the cases, which are pending before the lower court, is not finished within a period of 18 to 24 months. We have some cases which are pending for last 5 years or 10 years. A case which is pending for the last 20 years, losses its efficacy. In Haryana, the number of cases which are pending for more than five years is 56,466 with Faridabad, Ambala, Gurgaon, Hisar, Karnal and Yamuna Nagar leading the table. You must evolve certain mechanism. It is not impossible, then what is the solution? Why we cannot finish? Similarly, 1772 cases are pending in Haryana for more than 10 years and again Ambala with 409 cases and Gurgaon with 435 cases leads the table. Similarly, 11 cases (five in Faridabad, three in Ambala, two in Panchkula and one in Karnal) are pending for more than 20 years. A criminal case is pending for more than 20 years, it is something astonishing. As I said earlier, our endeavour should be to finish these cases. Priority should be given to these old cases and difficulties, if any, should be discussed and answer should be found. When we go after this meeting, I hope we will make Haryana as No. 1 State with regard to disposal of old criminal cases. At the same time, I would also add a word of caution. Disposal mania should not result in manifest injustice. Disposal should be in accordance with justice to further the object of justice not to see that people suffer injustice.