Amid a debate over Hindi and the linguistic diversity in the country, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana today said that the time has come for the legal system to introduce local languages in courts.
Justice Ramana, who was speaking at the Joint Conference of Chief Ministers of the States and Chief Justices of the High Courts at the Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi, said the practice of law before Constitutional courts should be based on one's intelligence and understanding of law, and not mere proficiency in language.
"The judiciary, as well as every other institution of our democracy, must mirror the social and geographical diversity of the country. I am receiving many representations for introducing local languages in proceedings before high courts," he said.
"I think the time has come now to revisit the demand and take it to a logical conclusion. The practice of law before Constitutional courts should be based on one's intelligence and understanding of law and not mere proficiency in language," the Chief Justice of India said.
He said that the concept of 'access to justice' in India is much broader than simply providing lawyers for representation before courts. "I am proud to state that India has one of the best free legal aid services in the entire world," CJI Ramana said.
He said he has been a strong proponent of "Indianisation of the justice delivery system".
"By Indianisation, I mean increasing accessibility by moulding the system to suit the needs and sensibilities of the Indian population. It is a multidimensional concept. It calls for inclusivity, providing access to justice, removal of language barriers, reforms in practice and procedure, development of infrastructure, filling up of vacancies, augmenting the strength of the judiciary and so on," CJI Ramana said.
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