CJI NV Ramana on Friday said that there are increasing attacks on judges in the country, including physical attacks and the media. This is an area of grave concern for the judiciary, and law enforcement agencies must deal with such malicious attacks effectively. The chief justice was addressing the Constitution Day celebration organised by the Supreme Court registry at the Vigyan Bhawan.
"An area of grave concern for the judiciary is the increasing attacks on judges. Physical attacks on judicial officers are on the rise. Then, there are attacks on the judiciary in the media, particularly social media. These attacks appear to be sponsored and synchronised. The law enforcing agencies, particularly the Central agencies, need to deal with such malicious attacks effectively. The Governments are expected to create a secure environment so that the judges and judicial officers can function fearlessly," he said.
The CJI also said that his experience as a legal professional in different roles is what prompted him to call for "Indianisation of the Judiciary".
"The judicial system, as it exists in our country today, is essentially still colonial in nature. It takes no account of the social realities or the local conditions. The procedures followed, the language of arguments and judgments, and the high costs involved are all contributing to alienating the common man from the judicial system. People should feel confident in approaching the courts," he added. The faith of litigants in the process and outcome can only be reinforced if they get a chance to participate directly, he said.
Regarding PILs, he said, "I am not sure if anywhere else in the world a simple letter written by a common man receives judicial attention of the highest order. Yes, it is sometimes ridiculed as 'Publicity Interest Litigation' due to occasional misuse. We must be ever vigilant to discourage motivated PILs. We must also acknowledge the enormous public good achieved through such progressive expansion of constitutional jurisprudence. But the same judiciary which offers solutions based on a mere postcard, paradoxically, struggles for years to take regular litigations to their logical conclusion due to various complex reasons," he added.
The CJI also added that it is "very heartening to note that the number of vacancies in the apex Court is reduced to just one".
"Now, there are four women Judges in the Supreme Court for the first time. I hope to see this number grow further," he added.
The Chief Justice further suggested a multipronged approach to address pendency in the top court. Filling up existing vacancies of judicial officers, creation of more and more posts, filling up vacancies of public prosecutors, government pleaders and standing counsel, creation of necessary infrastructure, sensitising the police and the executive about the need to cooperate in court proceedings, and deployment of modern technological tools were a few of the solutions recommended.
"The Government of India can follow the model implemented for modernisation of police stations across the country. The new Court complexes should be able to deploy modern technological tools to accelerate justice delivery. For this, modern equipment with video conferencing facilities and high-speed networks are essential," he added.