The greatest challenge faced by the legal system in India is the volume of litigation with the government filing more than 50 per cent of them, Supreme Court judge Sanjay Kishan Kaul said on Monday.

He stressed that it would be difficult to resolve the disputes in time unless the thinking process of the government towards litigation changes.

Addressing an event here, Justice Kaul said no other country in the world has such a large volume of litigation as India where courts have to scrutinise a large number of public interest litigations (PILs).

"When people ask what is wrong and why can't the Indian judiciary decide cases quickly, apart from the population, this is one of the reasons.

"The greatest challenge the legal system today faces is the volume of litigation...," he said.

The apex court judge said the American Supreme Court hears 100 cases in a year, whereas every bench of the Indian Supreme Court, on Mondays and Fridays, hears over 100 cases ."That's the difference in numbers".

He was speaking at a programme organised by Rotary District 3011 on Legal Aid Seminar - Expanding Horizons'.

Justice Kaul said it is not only that people are interested in litigation."More than 50 per cent of litigation is by the government so unless the thinking process of the government changes towards litigation", it will be difficult to resolve disputes in time, he said.

He pointed out that the cost of litigation by the government is borne by the people, so there is no personal cost to it.

He also emphasised the importance of awareness of one's rights and said if a person doesn't know his rights, how will the individual enforce them.

People have become aware of their rights at the socio-economic level. Similarly, earlier women were not aware of their rights and now they are aware of them so they enforce them, the judge said.

He said that authorities and paralegal personnel have helped in making people aware of their rights and this is one area where Rotary can work.

Justice Kaul, who is also the executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority, emphasised that offences with lesser punishment can be resolved through the alternative methodology.

Wherever applicable, if the person is not accused of heinous offences and in cases where the punishment is till 7 or 10 years, there can be a methodology to compensate the victim, he said.

"I think to bring back a person into the system or society is very important," he said and added that sometimes the solution which emerges from mediation is far more practical than that of courts which are bound by the law.

Senior advocate and Member of Parliament Vivek Tankha said Rotary is all about helping people and it can venture into legal aid services in many ways as it has good resources and manpower.

Retired justice Jayant Nath, District Chair, Legal Committee and Rotary District Governor Ashok Kantoor also spoke at the event.

With PTI Inputs