Addressing an event at the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Saturday spoke about the pending vacancies in the district judiciary and emphasised the need to take immediate steps to fill the gap.
"22% of the posts in the district judiciary are still lying vacant. Steps have to be initiated immediately to fill this gap." the CJI said
The CJI was speaking at an event where he was invited to lay the foundation stone of new High Court building complex at Srinagar.
The CJI said that the District judiciary is the foundation of the judiciary and only if the foundation is strong, the entire system can flourish.
Condition Of Judicial Infrastructure Far From Satisfactory: The CJI said that the condition of judicial infrastructure across the country is far from satisfactory, with Courts operating from rented accommodations and under deplorable conditions.
According to him, the courts should take the advantage of 100% funding by the Central Government and work in a coordinated manner to fill the gaps.
Far Behind In Making Courts Inclusive & Accessible:
The CJI pointed that the Indian Judiciary is far behind in making the Courts inclusive and accessible, and if the issue is not attended to urgently, the Constitutional ideal of access to justice would stand defeated.
Mere Laws Not Enough To Build Tradition, Judges & Lawyers Must Take Oath To Work Hard To Make Justice A Reality:
The CJI said that mere laws are not enough to build tradition in a country and it requires men of indelible character inspired by high ideals to infuse life and spirit in the skeleton of the laws.
Therefore, Judges and lawyers must take an oath to work hard to make justice a reality.
Addressing the Judges and judicial officers, the CJI said their swift, proactive and sensitive decision can make lot of difference in the lives of several people who are in desperate need of justice.
"Create a congenial environment for the litigants. Often, litigants are under a lot of psychological stress. Litigants may be illiterate, unaware of law and have various financial issues. You should try to make them feel at ease." the CJI said
District Judiciary's At Grassroot Level, Must Persuade Parties To Choose ADR
The CJI urged the District Judiciary to remember that they are at the grassroot level, and are the first contact for the justice seeker with the judicial system as they have a direct link with the people.
The CJI asked the judges to persuade parties to choose ADR mechanisms whenever possible, which will not only help the parties, but also will help in reduction of pendency.
He further asked them to make best use of National and State Legal Services Authorities which are active in the field.
Lawyers Must Ensure Professional Standards Are maintained & Legal Ethics Don't Take Back Seat:
While highlighting that a vigilant Bar is a great asset to the judiciary, the CJI said that to succeed in their endeavours, lawyers must ensure that professional standards are maintained, and legal ethics do not take a back seat.
He further said that the relationship between the Bench and the Bar plays an important role in the process of dispensation of justice and there cannot be a good judgement without the assistance of the advocate.
Focal Point Of Any Justice Delivery System Is The Litigant:
The CJI said that we must not forget that the focal point of any justice delivery system is the "litigant, who is the justice seeker", expressed confidence that this will be the guiding factor for the judiciary.
While quoting poet Raja Basu, who observed that Jammu and Kashmir is the confluence of three great religions - Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, the CJI said that it is this confluence which is at the heart of our plurality which needs to be sustained and cherished.
"Unfortunately, wealth creation is not commensurate with the true potential of this beautiful region with invaluable and highly skilled human resources. This situation needs to change, for this land's brightest future." the CJI said