Next CJI describes its priority: access to justice for the oppressed | India News
NEW DELHI: Just a month away from becoming the Chief Justice of India, Justice NV Ramana has signaled his priority by saying that the focus would be to ensure access to justice for all, especially the oppressed, the poor, the children and women.
Speaking at a National Legal Services Authority and Delhi LSA function on Monday, the highest-ranking Supreme Court judge lamented that even after 74 years of independence, the country is still debating access to justice for all. , a subject that was passionately pondered by the framers of the constitution.
In line to be sworn in as the 48th CJI on April 24, Judge Ramana said that India has made steady progress in various fields and today is a force to be reckoned with globally for its achievements. “On the other side of this success story, we are still a country with millions of people living without access to the fundamental basic comforts of life, including access to justice,” he said.
As executive chairman of NALSA, he said, “The idea of ’access to justice’ is deeply rooted in the constitutional vision of justice … Legal assistance is an important element in ensuring that access to justice is available to all. people regardless of their social or economic status … The concept of “access to justice” in India is much broader than limiting it to providing lawyers to represent them in court. It includes increasing legal awareness and also the provision of legal assistance to the poor and marginalized to update their rights and prerogatives. ”
Describing lawyers as the successors in the profession of great personalities such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel, Judge Ramana asked all lawyers to dedicate part of their time to solving pro bono cases for the oppressed, the poor and women and children at risk. .
Showing praise to NALSA and state legal services authorities, she said: “Since the enactment of the Legal Services Authorities Act in 1987, until December 2020, more than 23 lakh women have benefited through our services. court-based legal services. Apart from this, nearly 30 lakh people belonging to the SC / ST categories have also benefited through our court-based legal representation programs. Similarly, we have provided legal representation to 12 , 85 lakh people, when they were in custody before the courts. ”
He said: “In the same year 2020, legal assistance was provided in the pre-trial detention stage to 76,087 detainees. I am pleased to inform you that 36,233 bail requests were submitted in the pre-trial detention stage, of which 20,825 bail requests were admitted. ”
“In India, we serve more than 70% of the population who are entitled to free legal aid. This makes India’s legal aid system one of the largest legal aid systems in the world in terms of the percentage of people with the right to free legal assistance Assistance in both civil and criminal matters Legal assistance is being provided regarding cases in consumer forums, labor courts, Armed Forces courts, etc., in addition to ordinary courts. , there are some 48,227 panel attorneys with the Legal Services Authorities to provide the necessary legal services. The Legal Services Authorities have also retained pro bono attorneys, including many high-level attorneys. So far 3175 pro bono attorneys are spliced at the district level, 437 at the Superior Court level and 86 at the Supreme Court level … Around 47,663 Volunteer s Paralegals are on the lists of the Legal Services Authorities, ”he said.
“With regard to alternative dispute redress mechanisms, in particular Lok Adalats, the legal services authorities have developed the capacities to organize national Lok Adalats across India. From November 2019 to February 2021, approximately 49 were resolved, 04,089 cases including 26,89,659 pending cases. This shortens the useful life of the cases and not only provides quick justice to the people, but also dislodges the files, “said Judge Ramana.