The Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said today that he has been a proponent of Indianisation of the justice delivery system.
"The people of this country look up to the judiciary in times of distress. They firmly believe that their rights will be protected by the Courts. It is necessary to contemplate how to improve the functioning of the judiciary, how to reach out to the people and fulfil their justice needs. This is precisely why I have been a strong proponent of Indianisation of justice delivery system. By Indianisation, I mean moulding the Indian judicial system for the benefit of Indian populace" the CJI said.
On the day he completes one year in office, the CJI spoke at a function relating to laying the foundation stone for the 9- storey Administrative Block of Madras High Court.
Justice Ramana inaugurated the Court Building and Judicial Officers' Quarters located in Namkkal District of Tamil Nadu. He also inaugurated the Combined Court Buildings and Judicial Officers' Quarters at Sankarapuram, Villupuram District and the Commercial Courts for Chennai.
The Chief Justice of India distributed benefits to the families of deceased Advocates.
The function was also attended by Supreme Court judges, Justice V. Ramasubramanian, Justice M. M. Sundresh and the Chief Justice of Madras High Court Munishwar Nath Bhandari. M. K. Stalin, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, S. Regupathy, the Minister of Law, R. Shunmugasundaram, the Advocate General and P. S. Amalraj, the Chairman Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were also present.
The gathering was also attended by former Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam.
The Chief Justice of Madras High Court extended a warm welcome in his welcome speech to the Chief Justice of India on his maiden visit to the Madras High Court.
Addressing the gathering, Justice M. M. Sundresh appreciated the growth of the judiciary in the State of Madras and said, "There are five factors important for the development of the country, a good robust health, prosperity, production, orderly society and security. In all these factors economy plays a pivotal role and it is the judiciary which ensures the adequate functioning of the system which enhances the position of a progressive nation. Construction of a building is a true indicator of functioning of an institution, including judiciary. It is not the building which gives an achieved status of institution but mainly the performance, which means all the stakeholders, all the judges and the lawyers put together, therefore it is heartening to note the inauguration of many buildings take place." He wished that Madras High Court and Subordinate Judiciary would keep the flag high.
Justice V. Ramasubramanian also addressed the gathering and appreciated the performance of the judiciary of the State of Tamil Nadu stating that, "Tamil Nadu judiciary ranks among the top performers of the Indian Judiciary. In fact, in 2021, the number of cases filed in the Madras High Court was 1,33,766 and the number of cases that were disposed of 1,46,244, which means that the rate of disposal is at 113%. So far as subordinate judiciary is concerned, the clearance rate has consistently been more than 90% which is a record for the entire country, therefore as part of judiciary, we are performing our part. Out of three pillars of democracy, one pillar has showcased its part, now the other two pillars have to showcase their part."
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. K. Stalin also addressed the gathering and announced that the State Government has allocated 4.24 acres of land in addition to 3.52 acres of land which was already allocated to the judiciary to create a strong judicial infrastructure in the state.
He raised a few points for the consideration of the Chief Justice. He asked for the principle of social justice to be ensured while appointing judges in High Court and Supreme Court. He also asked for setting up of a bench of the Supreme Court in Chennai so that it could be easily accessible by the people living in the southern part of the country. He asked for allowing the official language of the state to be used in the High Court of Madras. The Chief Minister distributed cheques to the family members of deceased lawyers.
The Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana addressed the gathering and appreciated the rich history and culture of the State of Tamil Nadu and the role that the judiciary of Tamil Nadu has played. He mentioned numerous legal luminaries who have come from the Tamil Nadu Bar.
Talking about ensuring sustained faith in the eyes of the public, the Chief Justice of India said, "The judiciary is vested with immense constitutional responsibility of maintaining rule of law and checking executive and legislative access. It has the duty of upholding and enforcing constitutional values. It is no doubt a heavy burden but it is one we have gladly chosen on the day we took our constitutional oath. This is the reason why strenthening judicial institution has been my top priority."
The Chief Justice of India thanked the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the measures being taken by him to improve the infrastructure of the judicial system in the country. He also said that he has sent a comprehensive proposal to the Government of India for the formation of Judicial Infrastructure Authority to implement the national court development project.
He addressed the issue of filling of judicial vacancies and increasing the sanctioned strength of judges to reduce the caseload on the judges. "As on today, out of 1104 sanction posts of the High Court judges across the country, there are 388 vacancies. From day one, it has been my endeavour to fill judicial vacancies. In fact, my very first communication to the Chief Justices of the High Courts was to request them to expedite the process of recommending names for elevation. Due to collective efforts at all levels, we could make considerable progress in the filling of the judicial vacancies. After I assumed office, we made 180 recommendations so far for appointments in the High Courts. Out of these, 126 appointments were made. 54 proposals are awaiting approval before the government. The government has received nearly 100 proposals from various High Court which is yet to be transmitted to the Supreme Court. I am hoping that the High Courts will expedite the process of sending the proposals to fill the remaining 212 vacancies".
The Chief Justice spoke about the perils of quick justice, as being demanded by the public.
He addressed the issue raised by the Chief Minister of having the proceedings in the language of the state so that the people can understand the proceedings, the CJI said that the proceedings should not be like "chanting mantras in weddings, which most of us do not understand."
He called for inclusion of women and people from all classes in the judiciary so that everyone has a voice in the system. He also appreciated the state of Tamil Nadu for extending a helping hand to support the family of the deceased advocates.