India’s Chief Justice NV Ramana said on Saturday that “covering up” the judiciary’s pressing concerns would cripple the judiciary and talks are needed to serve people better.
Justice N. V. Ramana was here addressing the first meeting of District Legal Services authorities in all India during which Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the judiciary to speed up the release of languishing sub-trials in jails waiting for legal aid.
“Wherever I go, I always try to project the achievements of the Indian judiciary to win the trust and faith of the people. But if we intend to serve the people better, we must point out the issues that hinder our functioning.
“There is no sense in camouflaging or hiding the issues. If we don’t discuss these issues, if the urgent matters are not dealt with, then the system will be paralyzed,” Judge NV Ramana said.
The Chief Justice said discussion and debate before deciding was necessary to achieve the constitutional mandate of social justice.
“I fear that we will not be able to fulfill our constitutional mandate of social justice. I therefore urge you to discuss, debate and decide! This is the principle I have followed throughout. I know that the challenges that awaiting you are enormous,” Justice N.V. Ramana told participants of the two-day meeting of District Legal Service Authorities from all over India.
He also raised the issue of “effective representation before the courts” of poor and deserving sub-trials and said, “We need sincere and dedicated prison-visiting lawyers. Lawyers visiting prisons can then become licensed legal aid defense attorneys. He called on law students to view legal aid services as a “golden opportunity to interact with their very first clients and make a substantial difference in their lives.” This service to society will shape your values and ground you in existing social realities.”
The two-day gathering, hosted by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), brings together more than 1,200 delegates across the country, including the senior district and sessional judge from all judicial districts and presiding officers. District Legal Services Authorities (DLSA) and discuss the implementation of the Unified Business Process to provide effective legal aid to the marginalized and poor.
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