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CJI Ramana says justice system needs to be localised to suit complexities in India

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Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana has said people in rural areas of the country feel left out of the justice system since the proceedings are in English because of its colonial history. Further, the CJI said the justice system needs to be Indianised in that respect.

Speaking at an event organised by the Karnataka State Bar Council to pay tributes to late Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar, who passed away on April 24 this year, the CJI said,

“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 system, practices, rules being colonial in origin may not be best suited to the needs of Indian population.”

In this context, CJI Ramana said the need of the hour is the Indianisation of our legal system.

“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.”

The Chief Justice of India added that judgments have become lengthy these days and have further complicated the situation for litigants. “For the parties to understand the implications of a judgment, they are forced to spend more money.”
Justice Ramana said courts also need to be focused on litigants and the delivery of justice should be simplified, transparent, accessible and effective.

“The common man should not be apprehensive about approaching the courts and authorities. While approaching the court, he should not feel scared of judges and courts. He should be able to speak the truth,” he said, adding it is the duty of lawyers and judges to make it comforting for the key stakeholders.

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CJI Ramana recalled Justic Shantanagoudar’s contribution to the jurisprudence of the nation.

“His judgments provide a deep insight into his years of experience, his depth of knowledge and his unending wisdom. But more than anything, his judgments showed simplicity, abundant common sense, and a practical approach. His tenure as a judge was marked by his concern for social equality, opportunity to all, and rights and liberties of the people.”

CJI Ramana conveyed his regards to the family of Justice Shantanagoudar, his wife Sunitha Shantanagoudar and children Shivaprasad and Pooja Shantanagoudar.

Read full speech here


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