Friday, June 2, 2023

PM bats for local languages in courts; CJI reminds judges of ‘Lakshman Rekha’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a strong pitch for use of local languages in courts to make the common man feel connected to the justice system.
In remarks that came before Modi’s call at a conference, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana also said the time has come for the legal system to introduce local languages in courts. CJI later told a press meet reforms such as introduction of local languages in courts cannot happen in a day, and these things take time due to logistical difficulties or other hurdles. The remarks by Modi and CJI against the backdrop of a debate over using regional language in judicial proceedings came in their speeches at the inaugural session of the joint conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts.
The event held after a gap of six years also saw the CJI asserting one should be mindful of ‘Lakshman Rekha’ while discharging duty, noting the Constitution provides separation of power among the three organs of the state.
Modi appealed to chief ministers and chief justices of high courts to give priority to cases related to undertrial prisoners languishing in jails and release them, as per law, based on human sensitivities, adding judicial reform is not merely a policy matter. He also urged CMs to repeal outdated laws to make delivery of justice easier. In his address, CJI minced no words while terming governments as the “biggest litigants”, accounting for nearly 50% of pending cases. He said the “docket explosion” is due to non-performance of various wings of the executive and the legislature not realising its full potential.
Modi said he had constituted a group to examine the possibility whether laws can be drafted in legal language as well as in terms easily understood by the common man.
At the news conference, CJI said the Executive and the Judiciary have agreed for state level judicial infrastructure authorities, instead of a national level body. The chief ministers or their nominee would be part of such a set up.


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