Justice delivery system needs complete overhaul: SC judge Gogoi

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New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) Small amendments to law would solve no purpose and the justice delivery system of the country needs a complete reform, said Supreme Court judge Ranjan Gogoi on Friday.

“A tweak here and a tweak there in the law pacifying the agitated mood is short justice and then there are the harrowing round-round battles in the court.

“It is no secret that the justice delivery system is begging for a complete overhaul,” Gogoi said at the launch of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s book “Every Child Matters”.

Gogoi, one of the four senior-most judges of the top court after the Chief Justice, held a press meet in January with the other three on various issues, questioning the manner in which the CJI was allocating important and sensitive PILs.

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Mentioning that Satyarthi has termed the rise in cases of sexual abuse of children a “national emergency”, he said: “I cannot say if child sexual abuse has become any more rampant in the last few months than it earlier was because I believe if all cases of sexual abuse of children were to really get reported we would be in a mortifying shock.

“But at least the last few months have pressed us to see how urgent a need it is to have in place an effective deterrent regime.”

Highlighting a recent report titled “The children cannot wait”, Gogoi said the report forecasts that some cases of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act may take even up to 100 years to be disposed off unlike what Satyarthi believed — that it takes about 50 years.

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On the amendment in Child Labour Act in 2016, which Satyarthi called a good law that was brought about after 30 years of struggle, Gogoi said he had a different opinion.

“The 2016 amendment is a mirage and that is to say the least. The idea of the amendment was to make the child labour law more stringent so as to realise the mandate of the right of children to free and compulsory education… The law was inadequate to begin with, today it is inimical,” he said.

As for the reforms till date, he said: “Assuming today is the day of judgement, I don’t think we can say ‘We have done well’. Too little has come and it has come too late. This has to do with the general indifference about the importance of children as a class of citizens.”

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And, on the complete overhaul, he said “when this revolution in the justice delivery system will come is anybody’s guess. I do not have an answer”.

–IANS

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