There is a need to Indianise the judiciary to make it more people friendly as the colonial system followed currently does not sit well with the complexities of India, CJI N V Ramana said on Saturday (September 18) in Karnataka.
“Very often our justice delivery poses multiple barriers for the common people. The working and the style of courts do not sit well with the complexities of India. Our systems practise rules being colonial in origin may not be best suited to the needs of Indian population. The need of the hour is the Indianisation of our legal system”, Justice Ramana said.
He was speaking at an event organised by the Karnataka State Bar Council to pay tributes to late Supreme Court judge Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar. Justice Shantanagoudar was elevated to the Supreme Court in February 2017 from the Kerala High Court. He passed away on April 24 after prolonged illness. He was suffering from lung cancer.
Justice Ramana explained in detail what does he mean by Indianisation. He said “When I say Indianisation, I mean the need to adapt to the practical realities of our society and localise our justice delivery systems. For example, parties from a rural place fighting a family dispute are usually made to feel out of place in the court. They do not understand the arguments or pleadings which are mostly in English, a language alien to them. These days, judgments have become lengthy, which further complicates the position of litigants. For the parties to understand the implications of a judgment, they are forced to spend more money.”
Pendency in the courts and long wait for justice is a concern for many. Justice Ramana said, “We must not forget that the focal point of any justice delivery system is ‘the litigant-the justice seeker’… in this light, usage of alternate dispute mechanism such as mediation and conciliation would go a long way in reducing the friction between parties and would save resources. This also reduces the pendency and requirement for having lengthy arguments with lengthy judgments”.
The CJI also expressed concern over the procedural complexities of the current judicial system and suggested ways to simplify it. He said, “The simplification of justice delivery should be our pressing concern. It is crucial to make justice delivery more transparent, accessible and effective. Procedural barriers often undermine access to justice. The common man should not be apprehensive about approaching the courts and authorities. While approaching the court, he should not feel scared of the judges and the court. He should be able to speak the truth.”