Chief Justice of India NV Ramana calls for ‘Indianisation’ of legal system

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 18

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Saturday called for the Indianisation of the legal system to make the justice delivery system more accessible and effective.

“The working and the style of courts do not sit well with the complexities of India. Our system, practices, rules being colonial in origin may not be best suited to the needs of Indian population,” the CJI said at a function organized in Bengaluru to pay tributes to late Justice Mohana M Shantanagaudar who died on April 25 at a private hospital in Gurugram.

“The need of the hour is the Indianisation of our legal system. When I say Indianisation, I mean the need to adapt to the practical realities of our society and localize our justice delivery systems,” Justice Ramana said.

Noting that these were the topics Justice Shantanagaudar used to discuss with him every day, the CJI said, “In losing him the country has lost a common man’s Judge… I have personally lost a most cherished friend and a valuable colleague”.

Justice Ramana said courts needed to be litigant-centric, and the simplification of justice delivery should be the pressing concern.

“Very often our justice delivery poses many barriers for the common people. The working and the style of courts do not sit well with the complexities of India. Our systems, practice, rules being colonial in origin, it may not be best suited to the needs of the Indian population,” the CJI said.

Parties from rural areas fighting family disputes were usually made to feel out of place in the court as they didn’t understand arguments or pleadings mostly in English—a language alien to them, he said, adding these days judgments have become lengthy further complicating the position of litigants.

“For parties to understand the application of the judgment they are forced to spend more money. Courts need to be litigant-centric as they are the ultimate beneficiaries. The simplification of justice delivery should be our pressing concern. It is crucial to make justice delivery more transparent, accessible and effective,” the CJI said.

“A common man while approaching the court should not feel scared of judges and the courts; he should be able to speak the truth. It is the duty of lawyers and judges to create an environment which is comforting for litigants and other stakeholders,” he said.

“We must not forget that the focal point of any justice system is the litigant, the justice seeker,” the CJI said, adding that “usage of alternative dispute mechanisms such as mediation and conciliation would go a long way in reducing the friction between parties and would save resources. It also reduces the pendency and requirement of having lengthy arguments and judgments.”

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