Prez calls for long-term measure on representations

Prez calls for long-term measure on representations

Prez calls for long-term measure on representations

President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday called for taking long-term measures to give due representation to women, SC/ST and OBCs in judiciary without compromising on the quality.  

"Of the 17,000 judges in our subordinate courts, high courts and Supreme Court, only about 4,700  - roughly one in four  - are women.  In addition, there is an unacceptably low representation of traditionally weaker sections such as OBCs, SCs and STs, especially in the higher judiciary," he said.

He also emphasised the need to ensure speedy justice with a greater efficiency.

"It is a paradox that the poor often shy away from a legal battle, worried about the duration and the cost. And the well-off sometimes use the judicial process and its intricacies to delay resolution to issues they simply do not want resolved," Kovind said.

Inaugurating the National Day conference here, organised jointly by the Law Commission and NITI Ayog, the President said all three organs of the state  - the judiciary, the executive and the legislature  - are obligated to be models of good conduct.

They also need to be careful not to cross into each other's finely-defined spaces.

He reminded that such transgressions can occur in many circumstances when extraneous comments and 'obiter dicta' come to dominate public debates, crowding out a substantive understanding and deliberation of a well thought-out judgement.

"Public life is today a glass house. There is a relentless demand for transparency and scrutiny. Our legal fraternity needs to be mindful of these legitimate urges of the people  - the ultimate masters in a democracy," he said.

The President described it as the "sacred duty" of the higher judiciary to groom district and sessions to raise their skills, which would help in graduating more of them to the high courts and finally enhance people's trust in lower courts and their judgements and serve to de-clog our high courts.

The President also highlighted the issue of adjournments, affordability of fees, adoption of technology and alternative dispute resolution, among others.

In his speech, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said it is the sancrosanct duty of the judiciary to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens.

"The citizens have been guaranteed fundamental rights and the governing entities are not expected to encroach upon it. The moment they encroach upon it or there is an apprehension that there is an encroachment, the judiciary is obliged to stand by them," he said, adding the judiciary need not enter into policy-making.

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