December 19, 2021 5:31:29 pm
The Centre is yet to respond to some of the issues such as setting up Judicial Infrastructure Corporation and financial help to lawyers who lost livelihood due to COVID-19, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said on Sunday here.
Inaugurating the court complex, Justice Ramana said though the proposals for setting up a Judicial Infrastructure Corporation and mobile internet facilities in rural areas were sent in July and June, the proposals have not been translated into action.
He however, said he was hopeful that the Centre would bring in a legislation in the ongoing winter session of Parliament for creating the Judicial Infrastructure Corporation.
“I asked the Centre to financially help families of lawyers who lost their livelihood due to Covid. There is no proper response from the government so far. With regards to creation of Infrastructure there is no response either. I raise these issues whenever I get a chance at various forums when the Prime Minister and President are present,” Justice Ramana vented his dissatisfaction.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju recently said a proposal has been received from the Chief Justice of India (CJI) for setting up a National Judicial Infrastructure Authority of India for arrangement of adequate infrastructure for courts.
“The three main issues in the country are lack of basic infrastructure, to increase the number of judges and financial help to deserving lawyers. Only when we overcome these problems can we reach out to people. There would be a meaning to “access to justice,” he said.
For piling up pending cases, not only the shortage of judges is the reason, but also necessary infrastructure. Without providing necessary infrastructure expecting judges and lawyers sitting in dilapidated court buildings to deliver justice is not fair. Governments, especially the centre should note this, he further said.
Justice Ramana said he wrote a letter to the centre and the Law minister seeking setting up mobile network on vans to facilitate lawyers in the rural areas to attend court duties virtually.
According to him, though lawyers who can afford and in cities and towns will be able to attend court through video conferencing, advocates in rural areas and who cannot afford the network would eventually lose their profession.
“If necessary, the government can rope in big corporate to set up network stations under corporate social responsibility funds so that they can attend court duties virtually. The suggestion so far has not translated into action. I am waiting for the government to do something about it,” the CJI said.
He said many states in the country are shying away from allocating funds to build court complexes. He however appreciated the Telangana government for sanctioning funds to build a complex here without waiting for the central government amounts to come.
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