President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said it has become impossible for the common litigant to bear the expenses of the judicial process and the question of access to justice for everyone is of the greatest importance.
“Today, can anyone who is poor or from a deprived section come here with his complaint? This question is of the greatest importance because in the Preamble of the Constitution, we accepted the responsibility of making justice accessible for everyone,” Kovind told the audience at the inauguration of the new Rajasthan High Court building in Jodhpur on Saturday.
The President said that Mahatma Gandhi used to be worried about legal expenses part of the process of justice delivery. “For him, only the welfare of the poor was above all. Following him, all of us should ask this question to ourselves that has justice become accessible for every citizen?” Kovind said.
The President said that he understood that the judicial process has become expensive and gone beyond the reach of the common man because of many reasons. “Especially, reaching the High Court and Supreme Court is impossible for the common litigant. But if we keep in mind Gandhi-ji’s famous test and if we remember the face of the poorest and weakest person then we will see the right path,” Kovind said.
The President said that he gives immense importance to free legal aid.
Kovind expressed pleasure that the Supreme Court is making certified copies of its judgments in nine languages available on its website following his suggestion.
Earlier, addressing the convocation ceremony of AIIMS-Jodhpur, Kovind said, “At a place like this, two most important areas of development come together. One is health and another is education. Our nation has made great strides in many spheres, including healthcare, but we need to ensure that quality education and healthcare is accessible to all citizens especially those living in the rural areas and remote parts of the country.”