Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Friday said that an area of grave concern for the judiciary now is the increasing attacks on judges, which includes physical attacks and also in the media, particularly social media, and law enforcement agencies need to deal with such malicious attacks effectively.
In his address at the Constitution Day celebration organised by the Supreme Court registry at the Vigyan Bhawan, he said: “An area of grave concern for the judiciary is the increasing attacks on judges. Physical attacks on judicial officers are on the rise. Then, there are attacks on the judiciary in the media, particularly social media.
“These attacks appear to be sponsored and synchronised. The law enforcing agencies, particularly the Central agencies, need to deal with such malicious attacks effectively. The Governments are expected to create a secure environment so that the judges and judicial officers can function fearlessly.”
The CJI also said that his experience as a legal professional in different roles is what prompted him to call for “Indianisation of the Judiciary”.
“The judicial system, as it exists in our country today, is essentially still colonial in nature. It takes no account of the social realities or the local conditions. The procedures followed, the language of arguments and judgments, and the high costs involved are all contributing to alienating the common man from the judicial system. People should feel confident in approaching the courts,” he added.
He emphasised that only when litigants get a chance to directly participate, their faith in the process and outcome will be reinforced.
On PILs, CJI Ramana said: “I am not sure if anywhere else in the world a simple letter written by a common man receives judicial attention of the highest order. Yes, it is sometimes ridiculed as ‘Publicity Interest Litigation’ due to occasional misuse. We must be ever vigilant to discourage motivated PILs.”
“We must also acknowledge the enormous public good achieved through such progressive expansion of constitutional jurisprudence. But the same judiciary which offers solutions based on a mere postcard, paradoxically, struggles for years to take regular litigations to their logical conclusion due to various complex reasons,” he added.
The CJI also said that it is “very heartening to note that the number of vacancies in the apex Court is
reduced to just one”.
“Now, there are four women Judges in the Supreme Court for the first time. I hope to see this number grow further,” he said.
Suggesting a multipronged approach to address pendency in Supreme Court, he listed some solutions: Filling up existing vacancies of judicial officers, creation of more and more posts, filling up vacancies of public prosecutors, government pleaders and standing counsel, creation of necessary infrastructure, sensitising the police and the executive about the need to cooperate in court proceedings, and deployment of modern technological tools.
“The Government of India can follow the model implemented for modernisation of police stations across the country. The new Court complexes should be able to deploy modern technological tools to accelerate justice delivery. For this, modern equipment with video conferencing facilities and high-speed networks are essential,” he added.