He was speaking after inaugurating the permanent Bench of the Karnataka High Court in Gulbarga

Supreme Court judge V. Gopala Gowda said that while constructive criticism about judiciary was welcome, criticising the judiciary without any basis would harm the system in the long run.

He was speaking after inaugurating the permanent Bench of the Karnataka High Court in Gulbarga on Saturday. The Gulbarga Circuit Bench has been upgraded and made a permanent one.

Mr. Gowda did not mince his words while expressing his views about the criticism about the judiciary. “Those who criticise the judiciary should be responsible and make specific criticism backed by real facts.

“Indian Judiciary stands first in the entire world in its interpretation of law and protecting the rights of the people through its several landmark judgments right from 1952,” Mr. Gowda said. “Whenever the rights of the people are at stake, the Supreme Court has intervened and ensured that citizens’ rights are protected. And, the Supreme Court has also upheld the secular fabric of society, and through its several judgments, it has come in defence of the underprivileged sections of society.”

Mr. Gowda said that what has been done is not enough, and “We have to do more and courts should be more people-friendly and come in defence of the voiceless with its people-friendly judgments”. It is the onerous responsibility of the judiciary to protect the rights of the working class, and should find a solution to put an end to the continued exploitation of the deprived sections of society.

Mr. Gowda said that people still have faith and confidence in the judiciary. Judges should first understand the problems of the people who come seeking justice, and deliver justice speedily. He lamented that 53 per cent of the population are still living below the poverty line, and added that courts should defend the rights of this section of society.

“The dream of the deprived section of society for equal opportunities in education and employment has remained a dream, the constitutional guarantee of the socialistic society has also remained a dream for the poor. It is responsibility of everybody to ensure social justice, political and economic independence to all people”.

Mr. Gowda said that neither the judiciary, nor the executive nor the legislature was supreme in a democracy. It is the people who are supreme, and protecting their rights should be the first priority of the judiciary.

Referring to the permanent Bench of the Karnataka High Court established in Gulbarga, Mr. Gowda said that it took five years after the sanction of the Circuit Bench to Gulbarga for upgrading it and giving it a permanent status.

He said that the permanent Bench of the Karnataka High Court would help to take justice to the doorsteps of the people of this region and achieve the objective of speedy disposal of justice.

Terming the establishment of the permanent Bench in Gulbarga as a victory of a sustained struggle by the people of the region, Mr. Gowda said that many leaders were responsible for persuading the government and the Karnataka High Court for sanctioning the Circuit Bench and then upgrading it into a permanent one.

Karnataka High Court Chief Justice D.H. Waghela presided over the inaugural function.

Union Railway Minister M .Mallikarjun Kharge, the former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, MP, and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra, High Court judges N.K. Patil and K. Bhakthavatsala spoke on the occasion.

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