Cost is the "top most" hurdle in improving "access to justice for all", President Ram Nath Kovind said today even as he commended the judiciary and the bar for not letting the coronavirus pandemic come in the way of fulfilling the duty of securing justice for the citizens.
Speaking at the Constitution Day celebrations organised by the Supreme Court, President Kovind said he was happy to see that the top court has continued to function and dispense justice amid the pandemic, using technological solutions like video-conferencing and e-filing.
"I am pleased that the higher judiciary has started making available its judgments in more and more regional languages. This is surely the best way to keep more and more citizens in the loop, and thus bringing the institution of judiciary closer to the citizenry at large," President Kovind said.
Let us introspect how we can better live up to the ideals of the Founding Fathers, as enshrined in the Constitution in general and the Preamble in particular.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 26, 2020
Union Law, IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad congratulated the judiciary for rising to the occasion and continuing its work despite great inhibiting circumstances during the pandemic.
He expressed unhappiness over unleashing of criticism of the top court for its judicial functions and asked the people not to use expressions like "judicial barbarism" in criticising judgements or orders.
Chief Justice SA Bobde said the judiciary has worked hard through the pandemic and its commitment to ensuring that access of justice is maintained to all the citizens. The Indian Supreme Court has fared far better than to courts of other countries, he said.
Attorney General KK Venugopal suggested that there should be four intermediate courts of appeal with 15 judges each in the four corners of the country for ensuring access to justice by all. Mr Venugopal said as per national judicial data grid, around 3.61 crore cases are pending as on today in courts across the country and the "extremely sad" part is that around 4.29 lakh cases are pending for over 30 years.