The need of the hour is the Indianization of our legal system: Chief Justice NV Ramana

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Speaking about the Indian justice system, CJ NV Ramana acknowledged on Saturday that very often our delivery of justice poses multiple barriers for ordinary people, that the functioning and style of courts does not match the complexities of India, and that our system Practices, the rules being of colonial origin may not be best suited to the needs of the Indian population.

The Chief Justice was speaking at an event organized by the Karnataka State Bar Council to pay tribute to the late Judge Mohan M Shantanagoudar.

The Chief Justice said that the need of the hour is the Indianization of our legal system. “When I say Indianization, I mean the need to adapt to the practical realities of our society and to localize our justice systems,” he explained.

Chief Justice Ramana cited as an example the plight of rural parties struggling with a family dispute and generally feeling out of place in court. They do not understand arguments or pleadings which are mostly in English, a language which is foreign to them. Nowadays, judgments have become long, which further complicates the situation for litigants. In order for the parties to understand the implications of a judgment, they are forced to spend more money.

“Courts need to be litigation-centric because they are the ultimate beneficiaries. Simplifying the delivery of justice should be our urgent concern. It is crucial to make the delivery of justice more transparent, accessible and efficient. Procedural obstacles often hinder access to justice. man should not be afraid to go to courts and authorities. When approaching the Court, he should not be afraid of judges and courts. He should be able to tell the truth, ”the judge urged.

He went on to state that it is the duty of lawyers and judges to create an environment that is comforting for litigants and other stakeholders, and that we must not forget that the central point of any justice delivery system is “the litigant – the seeker of justice”.

“With this in mind, the use of an alternative dispute resolution mechanism such as mediation and conciliation would go a long way in reducing friction between the parties and would save resources. It would also reduce the duration and the requirement. to have long arguments with long judgments. As Justice Warren Burger said the former Chief Justice of the United States, I quote: “The idea that ordinary people want black robed judges, lawyers well dressed in beautiful courtrooms as a framework for resolving their disputes is incorrect. People with problems, like people in pain, want relief and they want it as quickly and inexpensively as possible, ”said CJ

He recalled that Judge Shantanagoudar was one of those extraordinary judges who understands that this is what our system needs and that these are the topics that Judge Shantanagoudar and the CJI have often discussed. “I thought it was my duty to give an overview of his philosophy and his thinking,” said the chief justice.

CJ Ramana explained how unmistakable Judge Shantanagoundar’s contribution to the nation’s jurisprudence, since his elevation to the High Court and especially during his time on the Supreme Court, is. His judgments provide a deep insight into his years of experience, deep knowledge, and endless wisdom.

“But more than anything, his judgments have shown simplicity, abundant common sense and a practical approach. His tenure as a judge has been marked by his concern for social equality, opportunities for all and rights and freedoms. of the people, “said the judge. .

The chief justice praised that in the Nandan Biomatrix case, Judge Shantanagoudar ruled that farmers are also consumers and can claim compensation under consumer protection laws. In the Amitabha Dasgupta case, he imposed restrictions on banks for imposing unfair conditions on consumers – “He was known for his fearlessness and independence.” The chief justice praised the fact that his dissent in the Indore Development Authority case is well known. “He never mince words, but at the same time, he was never rude,” the CJ noted.

“Sitting on a bench with him for about a year and a half, I witnessed his keen sense of entitlement, his immense preparation, and his kindness and generosity of spirit. We have become extremely close during this time, and there were many days sharing our views over breakfast. Sitting together, we decided on several important cases, notably on the mental health of those on death row “

The CJ then recalled “an incident affecting the heart” – “One day, as I was retiring to the chambers, a gemstone from my ring had fallen. This particular ring had a lot of divine significance because it had been blessed by Satya Sai Baba. When brother learned that I had lost the stone, he himself went looking for the same all over the hallway of the Supreme Court and found the stone after half an hour of searching intense. It speaks of his immense humility “

The chief justice said it was well known that Judge Shantangoudar encouraged young lawyers who were always welcome in his home to seek advice. testimony to her warmth and caring nature “

Speaking of Judge Shantanagoudar’s commitment to his work, the Chief Justice recounted how, over the past year, when his health deteriorated, how weak he was, how much he was in taken with certain medical conditions. “However, he never showed it. It was because of his immense grace and strength of character. He was built from a different fiber. Until his last days, he continued to sitting on the bench, hearing cases and writing judgments. His commitment to his judicial duty was inspiring, “said the Chief Justice.

Finally, CJ Ramana said the only thing that stood out from Judge Shantanagoudar was his sense of humor and contagious laughter. “In court, when anger could build, he would magically make all the tension go away with a ready-made pun. As the American poet Langston Hughes once said, quote-” Like a rain of welcome, humor can suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you, ”CJI recalled.


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