PM seeks cut in litigation cost

Plight of undertrials should move machinery of justice towards speedy corrective steps

PM seeks cut in litigation cost

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Chief Justice of India,  K G Balakrishnan and Chief Justice designate, Justice S H Kapadia (L) at the inauguration of National Conference on Law & Governance on the occasion of Golden Jubilee celebration of the Bar Association of India, in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

Delivering the inaugural speech at the golden jubilee celebrations of the Bar Association of India (BAI), Singh said: “It is important that concerted, cooperative efforts are made by the government, judiciary and the BAI to deal with the mounting arrears in our courts and the growing cost of litigation.

“The plight of the large number of undertrials in our jails should move the machinery of justice towards speedy corrective measures, as part of the process of reforming the quality of governance in our country.”

Pointing out that the judiciary, the legislature and the executive should not exceed their respective Constitutional powers, Singh said the three organs of the state should work in harmony.

Lawyers’ role
Exhorting lawyers to work towards a larger sense of justice, Singh said: “The role of the lawyers is not confined to courts alone or advising the clients in business deals. It extends to being an integral part of our system of administration of justice, and justice not just in the legal sense, but justice—social, economic and political, as set out in the preamble of our Constitution.”

Lawyers have always contributed towards justice, whether during the Independence struggle or the framing of the Constitution, the Prime Minister said.

Outstanding lawyers, some of them former BAI members, were part of his Cabinet.
“The BAI, too, has a larger objective beyond the furtherance of professional interests. It aims at promoting public and national welfare in manifold directions and upholding the Constitution of India and the rule of law,” Singh added.

Speaking at the function, Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said government initiatives are underway to ensure better justice delivery.

“Sensitive lawyers are the need of the hour. We have to do everything to ensure this. We have initiated a reforms package starting with the National Legal Mission, looking at governance issues by evolving a litigation policy, an arrears grid and infrastructure.”

Mooting the idea of having e-courts and e-governance, a means of justice delivery through the Internet, Moily said the idea is to have an e-court in every high court and one in every district within a year.

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