Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam on Tuesday promised that justice will be done in all respects with regard to the alleged sexual harassment of a law intern by a retired Supreme Court judge.
In his ‘Law Day’ speech, the CJI said: “During my short stint, an incident of alleged aberration has come to light through media reports. On the very same day, I constituted a three-member committee to look into it. I assure every one that justice will be done in all respect.”
Explaining the steps taken by him since he assumed office in July, Justice Sathasivam said: “By streamlining the process of listing of cases, the pendency of 69,446 cases at the end of June has been reduced to 65,893 cases by the end of October in the Supreme Court. From January, 2014, I propose to form a separate Bench to hear criminal matters relating to conviction exclusively. Likewise, all land acquisition matters will be grouped and posted before one Bench for expeditious disposal.”
The CJI said he was glad with the response to the National Lok Adalat, which was held on November 23, throughout the country, except in Madhya Pradesh. That day “50, 74,915 cases, including pre-litigation cases, were settled. I am glad that the effort has earned a massive response.”
Recognising that shortage of judges was one of the factors contributing to the delay in speedy and effective dispensation of justice, Justice Sathasivam said he had taken up the matter with the highest constitutional dignitary of the executive, and Law Minister Kapil Sibal had endorsed his view.
“I have written a letter observing the need for representation of various sections of society at all levels in the judiciary. I have asked all Chief Justices of High Courts to dispel any discontentment among any class of being inexcusably neglected from being considered by giving adequate representation to Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, minorities and women, without, of course, compromising on merit.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sibal said: “Our judges are as fine as 40 years ago. Our judges never faulted while interpreting the Constitution. There may be an error. But we should not point fingers. The concept of freedom of speech is undergoing enormous change. There are two billion opinions in the social media. There will be aberrations in every institution and we can’t castigate them with one brush, either the judiciary or Parliament.”
Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association M.N. Krishnamani also spoke on the occasion.