Khurshid seeks improvement in judicial delivery system

Bringing in accountability for the judiciary will not take away its freedom, but, in fact, will give it greater independence, Minister of Law, Justice and Minority Affairs, Salman Khurshid, said on Saturday.

Addressing the valedictory function of the sesquicentennial celebrations of Madras High Court, Mr. Khurshid said the judicial delivery system should improve so that the fruits of justice reached the common man.

He urged the judiciary to adapt itself to the growing needs of the world.

The Minister said, “The government is considering bringing in accountability — not one that takes away its independence, but [the sort of] accountability that adds to its independence and re-emphasises it.”

“This will come about through a fruitful wholesome dialogue between the judiciary and legislature,” he added.

In his valedictory address, President Pranab Mukherjee said administration of justice should be quick and accessible to all. He acknowledged that despite various challenges, the judiciary was working hard to reduce the backlog and provide speedy justice.

The government was engaged in the task of strengthening the courts with additional resources. A National Mission for Justice Delivery had been launched. The Constitution was being amended to raise the retirement age of High Court judges. Efforts were on to create an All India Judicial Service.

Mr. Mukherjee said filling of vacancies in courts should be taken up as a priority. The judicial system should be not only accessible but also affordable. As litigation was time-consuming and expensive, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms should be encouraged.

The judiciary should play a crucial role in the administration of the Legal Services Authority Act. Greater efforts were needed to speed up legal literacy.

The government, judiciary and lawyers through their voluntary efforts should make the constitutional dictum a living reality for the common man. Improving the quality of legal education and inculcating the right values in aspiring and young lawyers was the need of the hour.

The President paid tributes to the Madras High Court Bench and the Bar for their contribution to the development of law, justice and jurisprudence.