'We will land in trouble if we blindly follow other countries'
BANGALORE: The Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, Cyriac Joseph, said on Saturday that a review of the Arbitration Act is necessary as there have been far reaching changes in society in the past decade. Therefore, there has to be corresponding changes in the law.
He was speaking at a seminar on the "Review of the operation of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act" organised by the Karnataka State Commission of Jurists at the Karnataka Judicial Academy here.
However, while reviewing the law, one should not blindly follow the system of laws existing in foreign countries, he said.
Pointing out that he did not have any prejudice against any law in any country, he said laws should be reviewed only after considering the culture and characteristics of people as society varies from one country to another.
He said, "We will land in trouble if we blindly follow other countries," and cited the example of the dress code in the judiciary.
He said the black coat is more suited to countries such as the United Kingdom. In India, the climate varies from one region to another and during summer, advocates and judges would have to wear "black" dress.
He said that when he was a judge of the Delhi High Court, a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States of America had spoken on the "Court management techniques in the U.S.'' When he asked the judge how many cases the U.S. Supreme Court had decided the year before, the U.S. judge said 147.
He said that more than 147 cases would be decided by the Supreme Court of India in a day. Thus the U.S. system of court management technique would not be suitable to India.
He said the changes that have taken place in society would have to be incorporated while reviewing any law.
However, very often the problem is not with the law, but with the people who apply, operate and implement it.
Calling for sustainability in the judicial system, he said judges have a duty to perform in such a manner that the system does not collapse once they leave the post.
He said that judges, advocates and arbitrators are all part of the system and they should work to maintain its credibility.
He said the law should not be reviewed in a cosmetic manner.
The former Chief Justice of the Kerala and Karnataka High Courts V.S. Malimath welcomed the gathering.
H.L. Dattu, senior judge of the Karnataka High Court, proposed a vote of thanks.