justice: CJI: Poor infrastructure derailing justice delivery, need financial autonomy -

justice: CJI: Poor infrastructure derailing justice delivery, need financial autonomy

Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Saturday blamed poor infrastructure as one of the key factors derailing the justice delivery mechanism in the country and sought to address it by setting up the national judicial infrastructure authority.

Courts in India still function out of rented halls, many without basic facilities such as toilets and computers, the CJI said.

Courts are not merely structures made of mortar and bricks. “Rather, they actively assure the constitutional guarantee of Right to Justice,” he said.

“Courts in India have repeatedly upheld the rights and freedoms of individuals. They stood up whenever the individual or society has been at the receiving end of executive excesses. It is an assurance that the seeker of justice, however weak, need not worry about the might of the state,” the CJI said. An effective judiciary can aid in the effective growth of the economy. According to an international research paper published in 2018, failure to deliver timely justice cost the economy as much as 9% of the GDP, he said. “Moreover, the impact of an under-supported judiciary is also seen on foreign investments. Without adequate infrastructure we cannot aspire to fill this gap.”

If we want a different outcome from the system, we cannot continue to work in these circumstances, the CJI said, adding that financial autonomy of the judiciary was integral to any plan to change the status quo.

“Institutionalising a mechanism for augmenting and creating state-of-the-art judicial infrastructure is the best gift we can give our people and country in the 75th year of Independence,” he said


Towards this goal, he said, he had proposed the creation of a national judicial infrastructure authority to the law and justice ministry. “I am hoping for a positive response soon,” he said.

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju was also present at the function in which the CJI unveiled new wings of the High Court annexe in Aurangabad.

The CJI said it was baffling that court infrastructure improvement and maintenance of court buildings were still being carried out in an ad hoc, unplanned manner.

“Good judicial infrastructure for courts in India has always been an afterthought. It is because of this mindset that courts in India still operate from dilapidated structures, making it difficult to effectively perform their functions,” he said.

“Judicial infrastructure is important for improving access to justice and to meet the growing demands of the public that is more aware of its rights and is developing economically, socially and culturally.”

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