CJI Says Indian Court Buildings Dilapidated, Judicial Infrastructure an 'Afterthought'

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CJI Says Indian Court Buildings Dilapidated, Judicial Infrastructure an 'Afterthought'
© Provided by News18 CJI Says Indian Court Buildings Dilapidated, Judicial Infrastructure an ‘Afterthought’

Chief Justice NV Ramana on Saturday said that Indian “courts still operate with dilapidated structures”, making it difficult for the judiciary and the lawmakers to perform effectively.

The CJI made the statement at an event in Aurangabad where he shared the stage with Law Minister Kiren Rijiju. “The judicial infrastructure for courts in India has always been an afterthought. It is because of this mindset that courts in India still operate with dilapidated structures, making it difficult to perform effectively,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV.

The Chief Justice said he has sent a proposal for the establishment of the National Judicial Infrastructure Authority to the Minister of Law and Justice and urged Rijiju to ensure that the proposal is taken up in the winter session of Parliament.

“I have sent a proposal for the establishment of the National Judicial Infrastructure Authority to the Minister of Law and Justice. I urge the minister to expedite the proposal to be taken up in the upcoming session of the Parliament,” CJI Ramana said.

Judicial infrastructure is important for improving access to justice, but it is baffling to note that its improvement and maintenance was being carried out in an ad-hoc and unplanned manner in the country, he said. “It is baffling to note that the improvement and maintenance of judicial infrastructure is still being carried out in an ad-hoc and unplanned manner.”

He further said that the building that was inaugurated at Aurangabad on Saturday was envisioned in 2011. “That it has taken 10 years for this vision to be implemented is extremely worrisome. This is a deeper problem that has plugged our judicial infrastructure planning in our country since the Independence,” the CJI said. “An effective judiciary can aid in the effective growth of the economy,” he said.

Rijiju on his part said that the judiciary in the country has been given full support and space to function robustly. “Judiciary isn’t only being given full support but also they’re being given space to become robust. To make our democracy successful, a robust judiciary is of utmost important,” he said.

Also speaking at the function, Supreme Court Justice D Y Chandrachud said the flipside of their work is they are confronted with the extent of justice and injustice faced by citizens across the nation.

Justice Chandrachud added that while the judiciary is celebrating the inauguration of the building but at the same there has to be introspection from the judiciary on how to address the issue of pending cases in the state and country.

“As on date, there are over 48 lakh cases pending in Maharashtra with around 21,000 cases being more than three decades old. These are some of the problems we have to face. This calls for some introspection,” Justice Chandrachud said.

Justice Chandrachud said the building at Aurangabad is a landmark in the history of Maharashtra. “This building is a symbol of the ethos of Maharashtra. It represents the value of diversity, tolerance and plurality of culture in this state,” Justice Chandrachud said.

He also emphasized the need to have virtual courts so that every citizen across the nation can have access to court proceedings. “Our citizens are entitled to know how court proceedings are being held, how long judges sit, and why some cases get adjourned. This is their right to know,” Justice Chandrachud said.

The event was also attended by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

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