Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday expressed concern over “unpalatable” remarks being made against judges on social media and various other forums and said many people do not understand the life of a Judge and the hardwork they put in.
He also said the Legislature and the Judiciary are not fighting for domain control and are part of the same team to make this country a robust democratic nation.
“In the court we know what the judges do and what their responsibilities are. But many people don’t understand the life of a Judge. There are some unpalatable remarks being made on social media and various forums but when you see closely how much judges have to perform, it’s difficult for people like us to comprehend,” Rijiju said at the Legal Services Day celebration, organised by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) at Sharda University, Greater Noida.
“We are from public life, we are open. Judges can’t be open. It is not easy for them to come out of conventional duties and look after legal aid,” he said.
Rijiju further said that both the Legislature and the Judiciary want to ensure that people don’t have to struggle for bare minimum justice.
Noting that more than four crore cases are pending in lower courts, he said the lower Judiciary is the place where greatest thrust must be given at this time.
Chief Justice N V Ramana, who delivered the keynote address, said the legal profession is not about profit maximisation but about service to the society.
The CJI said being educated in law, students are empowered to be the voices of vulnerable and marginalised sections of the society.
“Your decision to join the legal aid movement will pave the path for a great career. This will help you inculcate empathy, understanding and a sense of selflessness. Remember, unlike other professions, the legal profession is not about profit maximisation, but about service to the society,” the CJI said.
Ramana said he was very happy to see Union Law Minister Rijiju’s personal inclination towards the progress of legal services authorities.
“I hope that under his leadership, the existing roadblocks in the growth of legal services authorities including the infrastructural issues will be taken care of with prompt intervention. I am glad that he fully understands the hard work put in by Judges,” he said.
Rijiju said the government wants to ensure that people don’t have to struggle for bare minimum justice.
“People from the village get scared to go to court. They do not know what the court looks like. You tell an ordinary person to go to the High Court and Supreme Court they will say, ‘please leave me I don’t want to go to the court’.
“They will have no idea how the HC and SC will function. So the idea of bringing justice at the doorstep is really transforming the judiciary in the country,” he said.
Rijiju said the government is taking a lot of steps to ensure proper infrastructure for the lower judiciary.
“We know many people who don’t get justice. It is not the fault of anyone, it is due to the circumstances and the situation, it is not easy for an ordinary person to get justice. A person may sell property to get justice but he doesn’t get a date.
“It is very disheartening to see that the common man is struggling to get justice. It is where the gap between the common man and justice must be bridged. NALSA has taken numerous steps. I am not discounting the services of previous office holders but in this time I have seen great team work,” the law minister said.
Rijiju said the government, Legislature and Judiciary are part of the same system and we are not fighting for domain control.
“We are part of the same team to make this country a robust democratic nation. We have all the commitment to ensure independence of the judiciary. The strength of the judiciary is very critical for the survival of democracy,” he said.
The Law minister said that as a growing nation, India will provide great opportunities.
“You have to bring life to the judicial system & through you we’re going to have robust democracy in our country. The prime minister has already committed four years back that India must be made an international Centre for Arbitration,” he said.
He stressed on the need to make simple laws with easy language so that it becomes convenient for everyone.
“As a young democratic nation, we want to make India a proud and prosperous nation. It is a universal truth that we have to accept human rights as fundamental rights. There cannot be compromise on fundamental rights. Only preservation of fundamental rights does not make a country great.
“It will become great when along with constitutional rights everybody understands constitutional duties and obligations. If every member of a nation starts treating constitutional duties above rights nobody can stop that country from becoming a great nation,” he said.
Supreme Court judge and Executive Chairman of NALSA Justice U U Lalit said it is the constitutional right of every individual to get free legal aid.
Out of 100 cases filed on criminal side which are listed in courts, legal aid in only 1 per cent of cases is population, he said, adding that it is due to lack of knowledge.
The event was also attended by Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court Justice Rajesh Bindal, Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh HC Justice A K Goswami, Justice M N Bhandari, among others.