Minister of Law & Justice
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Minister of Law & Justice

Minister of Law & Justice (26 May, 2014 - 08 November, 2014):

In the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Ravi Shankar Prasad was given the dual responsibilities of Minister of Law & Justice along with the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology. On the 8th of November, 2014 his additional responsibilities as the Minister for Law & Justice were assigned to a regular Cabinet Minister. But his short stint as the Law & Justice Minister of India, was full of some highly significant achievements which can be summed up as under:

  • National Judicial Appointment Commission: National Judicial Appointment Commission Bill which sought to amend the process of appointment of judges in higher judiciary was pending for approval by the Parliament for nearly 20 years. Ravi Shankar Prasad took the responsibility of building political consensus on this very important subject and steered the discussion on this Bill in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The Bill was passed by both the houses of the Parliament without a single vote cast against the Bill. Subsequently, the Bill was passed by 50% of the state legislative assemblies as well. The President of India gave his assent to the Bill and it became an Act on 31st December, 2014.
  • Efforts to Repeal Old and Obsolete Laws: Big initiative for repealing old and outdated laws was undertaken by Ravi Shankar Prasad during his tenure as the Law Minister. Bill for scrapping 32 laws was introduced in the Lok Sabha during his tenure. His efforts expedited the process of repealing of nearly 1000 more such legislations.
  • Increase in Judges Strength: Large number of vacancies in the higher judiciary was a cause of concern and it was adversely affecting the speedy disposal of cases. During his tenure as the Law & Justice Minister, the judges strength in 10 High Courts was enhanced from 906 to 984 with due approval from state government and High Courts. He wrote to the Chief Justices of all High Courts requesting them to expedite the process of filling up vacant posts of judges.
  • Trial of Politicians: He took the responsibility of expediting the pending trial against politicians in various courts. He wrote to the Chief Justices of all the High Courts to expedite the monitoring of the trial against the Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) within one year. As mandated by the Supreme Court dully followed as priority by the government led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
  • Vacancies in Subordinate Courts: Number of vacancies in the subordinate courts had increased to nearly 4000. He wrote to all Chief Justices of High Courts to expedite the filling up of these vacancies in subordinate courts in India.
  • Digitization of Courts: He expedited digitization of courts and judicial data grids including application of Information Technology for release of under trials under section 436 of Cr. P.C. i.e. those who have served half of their sentence in Jail as under trial.
  • Fast Tracking of Criminal Cases against infirm, children, women and elderly persons was a cause of concern for him and to address this he wrote to the Chief Justices of all the High Courts and requested them to fast track such cases.