CJI Ramana, sharing stage with Law Minister, criticizes judicial infrastructure
Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Saturday raised concerns about the judicial infrastructure in India. He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the new annex building of the Bombay High Court's Aurangabad Bench in the presence of Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju. He also reiterated his call to set up a national authority for judicial infrastructure.
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CJI Ramana said judicial infrastructure is crucial to ensure access to justice. He has been calling for a National Judicial Infrastructure Authority for months. The agency will work to fund and supervise development works at Indian courts, according to the CJI's proposal. Earlier this year, a survey of 6,000 trial courts in several states was carried out to identify issues in the judicial infrastructure.
Hoping for government's positive response: CJI
"I have sent the proposal to the Union Law Minister. I am hoping for a positive response soon and that the Union Law Minister will expedite the process," CJI Ramana said about the proposal.
'Judicial infrastructure always been an afterthought'
"The judicial infrastructure for courts in India has always been an afterthought. It is because of this mindset that courts in India still operate with dilapidated structures, making it difficult to perform effectively," CJI Ramana said. "If you want a different outcome from the judicial system, we cannot continue to work in this present condition," he further added.
CJI highlights infrastructural issues
CJI Ramana said only 5% of court complexes in India have basic medical facilities. He said that 26% of courts do not have separate toilets for women while 16% do not have toilets at all. Nearly 50% of courts do not have a library and 46% of them do not have the facility to purify water, the CJI added.
'Faith in judiciary biggest strength of democracy'
CJI Ramana said, "Many a time, people are not keen on approaching courts. But it is time we dispel this notion. People's faith in the judiciary is the biggest strength of a democracy." The ceremony was also attended by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.