Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, who is on a two-day visit to Gujarat, said Saturday that the real challenge before the judiciary was to address chronic cases that remain festering in courts. He said that disposing of smaller cases was like “cleaning the house of the garbage littered around”. He said, “The real challenge lies in addressing chronic cases which remain festering in the courts,” he said. He also expressed optimism that with the judicial fraternity being conscious of the rising number of cases, the challenges will be overcome.
“There is an ever-increasing number of cases in the courts. But then the fact that you are conscious of it, and you are sensitive to it, and you are gearing for it, is what is encouraging. So, we will overcome all the challenges and difficulties that may otherwise exist,” he said.
Justice Thakur inaugurated a swanky auditorium at the premises of Gujarat High Court on Friday. On Saturday, inaugurating a state-level conference of judicial officers at the same venue, he said that such state-of-the-art facility given by the government must be utilised fully since the government spares money for such facility, to some extent, by neglecting the pressing demand of basic facilities for the poor like water, school and health, among others. He said that it will be a criminal waste if such facilities were under utilised.
Citing the example of Orissa tribal Dana Manjhi, who had to carry his dead wife on his shoulder for 10 km with his daughter crying all the way long, Justice Thakur said, “We should constantly try to make best use of infrastructure…” He said that such facilities should not be limited to judges, but extended to government lawyers under training, revenue officers and all those connected with the administration of justice system.
Earlier, Gujarat High Court Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy said that this infrastructure is ultimately to improve the justice delivery system and timely justice is a major concern in Gujarat and in the country.
On pendency of cases in the state, Justice Reddy said, “In the last eight months, around one lakh cases have been reduced in subordinate courts while 6,000 cases were disposed of in the High Court due to the efforts of all judges.”
Justice Thakur also praised Gujarat as a state and said, “The land of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it has rich resources and culture. Gujarat is an embodiment of peace and tranquility.” Early in the morning, Justice Thakur met Modi at Raj Bhavan and wished the PM on his birthday.
He said, “I met the PM and said that coming to Gujarat gave me so much peace.” On a lighter note, he quoted one of his colleagues at the Supreme Court and said, “No one is at peace in Delhi.”