Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called upon the judiciary to evolve a dynamic inbuilt mechanism to address its deficiencies and problems.
Calling for a “dynamic inbuilt mechanism to address the deficiencies in the judicial system”, Modi said: “If we make a mistake, though we have no right, there is remedy in judiciary.”
“But if you make a mistake, then there is no remedy as there is nothing above you. We have to repeatedly make self appraisal,” he said at the inaugural session of a conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts.
The conference is aimed at addressing issues relating to the administration of justice in India. The last such conference was held on April 7, 2013.
Calling for “qualitative changes” in the judiciary, which he said could be achieved by taking recourse to digital technology, Modi said: “Judiciary should be powerful but perfect as well at the same time.
“We are becoming powerful, there is nothing wrong in being powerful, but we should be perfect as well,” Modi said.
Emphasizing the importance of inbuilt mechanism for self-correction, he pointed to criticism that people in the government face for their mistakes and added that judges were lucky not to be exposed to such situations as they enjoy a lot of credibility among the people.
Cautioning the judges vis-a-vis the absence of inbuilt mechanism, Modi said: “Howsoever good a person (occupying a position) may be, but in the absence of institutional mechanism there are always dangers of slide.”
He said the Right to Information Act and the Lokpal were self imposed statutory restricts on the people running the government.
Modi said every care has to be taken so that people’s confidence in the judiciary was not dented as that would cause great damage.
“People have a lot of faith in the judicial system of India. We need to look at the manpower that is coming in this field in the coming years. We have to think how can we create good law institutions, keeping in mind the needs of the future.”
The prime minister said: “There is a great responsibility on the judiciary. In fact, we all are the same kind of individuals carrying out responsibilities as per our potential and capabilities.”
“But this is not the case with people in the judicial system, what they do is divine. God has sent you to carry out this divine responsibility.”
Modi called upon the judges of the Supreme Court to review the working of tribunals whose performance he said was dismal.
He said a lot of budgetary allocations were being spent on tribunals but their rate of disposal was a matter of concern.
“They (apex court judges) should think whether the tribunals are really effective or just another hindrance (in the justice delivery system). Their working is also a matter of concern,” Modi said.
Calling for the simplification of laws, Modi said the statute book had to be cleared of web of laws which were redundant.
He said the central government had decided to erase 700 antiquated laws and another 1,700 laws were being reviewed. He said his wish was to erase one law a day in his five-year term.
Calling for the training of judicial officials in forensic sciences, Modi said there was need for trained legal people to draft law to ensure bare minimum gray areas.
Talking about pending cases, he said: “We all talk about pendency of cases in courts but have we ever thought the number of hours the judiciary has to spent on them and problems they go through?”
Chief Justice HL Dattu said the administration of justice can’t be achieved by the judiciary alone without the government extending its full co-operation and support.
“The ultimate goal of all of us is to serve the people of India upholding the letter and spirit of the constitution. Our forefathers have defined and declared our common goal within this sacred constitution,” he said.
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