CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday called for “revolutionary structural changes in the country’s legal framework and political ethos to ensure speedy and inexpensive access to justice for the common man”.
This was the first pre-requisite of the supremacy of Rule of Law, he said at the conference of Chief Ministers and High Court Chief Justices from across the country in New Delhi.
According to an official release here, Mr. Badal regretted that even 60 years after Independence fair, cheap justice still remained a distant dream for millions of people in the country.
He called for “drastic measures to remove the common perception that law is a handy mistress in the hands of the rich and the mighty, or that it resides only in the air-conditioned chambers of the legal luminaries. Law must come of these chambers and be easily accessible to those who desperately seek justice but cannot buy it with hard and high cash”.
He said that while independence of the judiciary was a noble goal, it could not be the sole objective of a legal and political system. “Independence of judiciary loses its meaning and relevance if the judicial system fails to inspire confidence in the minds of the poor and the common people,” the Chief Minister added.
Mr. Badal urged the Centre to speed up a Rs. 59-crore grant to Punjab for its judicial infrastructure as “heavy public investments” would help in speedy delivery of justice in the State.
Mr. Badal claimed that the ruling Akali-BJP coalition had earmarked Rs.35 crore for upgrading the judicial infrastructure in the past year alone as compared to Rs.43 crore spent by the previous Congress regime in five years.
The Chief Minister said eight new judges were appointed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the past year and six names recommended for appointment. -- PTI