Insufficient judge ratio needs to be focused – Khanwilkar


Supreme Court Chief Justice T.S. Thakur’s concern about inadequate strength of judges in the judiciary was also reiterated by another SC  judges while delivering a lecture on the theme of “Different Facets of Indian Constitution” in Shimla today. SC Judge and former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh High Court Justice A. M. Khanwilkar said that law delays, expensive court fees, uncertainty both in the matter of articulation of law (Legislation) and also in decision making process by the courts, unequal opportunity to litigants, multi forums, lack of awareness of rights and remedies, insufficient judge ratio are some of the issues which needs to be focused in the present time.


Mr. Khanwilkar while addressing a lecture organized by Himachal Pradesh State Level Service Authority at High Court complex today said that our Constitution declares – “to secure to all its Citizens Justice-social, economic and political” to fulfill this objectives, much would depend on the effectiveness of the State Machinery and State responsiveness to the problems of the Society and its citizens.


He also pointed out that the members of Bar could play an effective role in minimizing the life span of the proceedings. The Bar members can also contribute in reducing the burden of the Courts by giving proper assistance to the judges, to maintain timeliness disposal of cases. On the importance of Information Technology in Judiciary, Justice Khanwilkar said that it is time that the Court Administration as well as the Advocates must make optimism utilization of Information Technology to accelerate the processing of matters.


He said that the use of technology would not only give impetus to the processing of cases but also ensure transparency and accountability. Concerned over the high legal charges Justice Khanwilkar said that the members of Bar, however, can certainly contribute by providing legal assistance to the litigants at an affordable fees, if not pro bono.


He also appealed to the members of  Bar to participate proactively to spread legal awareness among the persons belonging to marginalized society about their legal rights and remedies. He also appealed to the members of Bar to proactively participate in programme implemented by the Legal Service Authority for this purpose.


In his presidential address Himachal Pradesh HC Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir said that constitution of India was to unite 300 million people with diversity of language, culture, religion, custom, habit and way of living. Interests of minorities, Dalits, backward classes and indigenous tribes were to be safeguarded. “Justice Mir also said that a noble feature of the constitution is that it contains a chapter in the form of Directive Principles of State Policy. These principles lay down the important guideposts for the government to secure social, economic and political democracy.


Justice Mir further said that judiciary occupies an important place in our constitution and it acts as protector of fundamental rights of Indian citizens and guardian of the constitution. If any law passed by the legislature or action taken by the executive contravenes any provision of he constitution, it can be declared as null and void by the Supreme Court.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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