Date: 19th September, 2021.
Calling for the ‘Indianisation’ of the country’s legal system, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said the common man should not be scared of courts.
“The common man should not be apprehensive about approaching the courts and authorities,” Chief Justice of India NV Ramana has said while calling for the ‘Indianisation’ of the country’s legal system.
While paying tribute to Late Justice MM Shantanagoudar at the memorial organized by the Karnataka State Bar Council, CJI NV Ramana stated that the need of the hour was the ‘Indianisation’ of our legal system to make it more ‘litigant-centric’.
“When I say Indianisation, I mean the need to adapt to the practical realities of our society and localise our justice delivery systems,” he said.
“For example, parties from a rural place fighting a family dispute are usually made to feel out of place in the Court. They do not understand the arguments or pleadings which are mostly in English, a language alien to them. These days judgments have become lengthy, which further complicates the position of litigants. For the parties to understand the implications of a judgment, they are forced to spend more money,” the CJI said.
“While approaching the Court, the common man should not feel scared of the Judges and courts. He should be able to speak the truth. It is the duty of lawyers and judges to create an environment which is comforting for the litigants and other stakeholders,” CJI NV Ramana said.
He also encouraged the use of alternate dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation to reduce friction between parties and save resources. “This also reduces the pendency and the requirement for having lengthy arguments with lengthy judgments” he said.
He said justice delivery should be more transparent, accessible and effective.
“The simplification of justice delivery should be our pressing concern. It is crucial to make justice delivery more transparent, accessible and effective. Procedural barriers often undermine access to justice,” CJI Ramana said.
He said there is a need to make the courts litigant-centric as they are the ultimate beneficiaries and the focal point of any justice delivery system is “the litigant — the justice seeker”.
As stated by Justice Ramana, the current justice delivery system in India, very often, poses multiple barriers for the common people.
The working and the style of courts do not sit well with the complexities of India and may not be best suited for the needs of the Indian population.