President Mukherjee expresses concern over 3.1 crore pending cases in courts
President Pranab Mukherjee has expressed concern over the alarming number of pending cases in the courts, and said that the judicial system is weak in speedily dispensing justice.
"But the strength and effectiveness of the judiciary, which is the guardian of our democracy, depends on the two pillars of the justice delivery system - quality and speed. Of these two pillars of an effective judicial architecture, our system is weak in speedily dispensing justice. The backlog of cases in our courts is very disconcerting. The total pendency of cases in the Indian courts is a staggering 3.1 crores," he said after inaugurating the 150th Anniversary celebrations of the Advocates' Association of Western India.
President Mukherjee said that lawyers have a duty to ensure that none is denied justice, and they should act as the common man's soldiers who fight for the rights of citizens. In addition, they have to continuously strive to uphold the supremacy of the constitution. This can only be achieved if the judiciary remains transparent, impartial and speedily dispenses justice.
He said that delay in justice delivery can only be rectified with active cooperation of bar associations. Through their association, they should exhort their members to only seek adjournments where the reasons are compelling. This is of singular importance as delays increase the cost of litigation rendering justice a distance mirage for the vast majority.
He further said that to play their roles effectively, lawyers would need to ensure that the legal fraternity is knowledgeable, well-trained, equipped with the best of facilities and infrastructure and most importantly, socially committed.
"They must exude confidence and feel secure in their profession. This is a precondition for the establishment of an effective justice delivery system," he said.
Praising the Advocates' Association of Western India, Mukherjee said its formation was a significant moment in political history of India.
"It signaled an awakening amongst those in the legal profession to play a more active role in the movement for self rule. It spawned a new breed of leadership from this profession that played a critical role in the struggle to achieve independence,' he added.
(Posted on 10-02-2014)