Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana on Saturday said constructive resolution of conflicts was not a mere technical job, particularly in a country like India where judges cannot blindly apply rules, procedures and statutes as, after all, conflicts have a human face. Judges have to weigh several socio-economic factors and the impact of the decisions on society before delivering judgments.
Speaking at an event at the Madras High Court, in the presence of Chief Minister M. K. Stalin, to lay the foundation for a nine-storey administrative block and to inaugurate combined court buildings and judicial officers’ quarters in Namakkal district and Sankarapuram in Villupuram district, the CJI said he firmly believed that the judiciary should never be viewed as a mere enforcer of law, but as an engine of social integration. “Judging is not an easy task. Judges have to be aware of social realities. You have to carefully watch the changing social needs and expectations,” he said.
Justice Ramana said, “The world is moving very fast. We are witnessing this change in every sphere of life. In this era of instant noodles, people expect instant justice, but they have not realised that real justice will be a casualty if we strive for instant justice. Judges have to sharpen our ideas and perceptions, we need to expand our knowledge base and adapt technology. There cannot be a gap between the mind of a judge and the needs of society. Ultimately, we are entrusted with the duty of dispensing justice to all.”
Praising the Tamils for being at the forefront of protecting cultural and linguistic rights in the country, he recalled the anti-Hindi agitations of 1960s in the city, which he had visited as a child. He praised the luminaries of the Madras Bar and Bench for their immense contribution to nation-building. He thanked Mr. Stalin for ensuring creation of adequate infrastructure for the judiciary in the State.
Use of language
“From time to time, there have been demands from various regions to allow the use of local language in the proceedings before the High Courts as provided under Article 348 of the Constitution. A lot of debate has happened on the subject. There are certain barriers that have prevented the adoption of local language... in proceedings before the High Courts. I am sure that with advancements in science and technology such as artificial intelligence, some of the issues associated with the introduction of languages in High Courts may be solved in the near future,” he added.
CM seeks SC Bench
Mr. Stalin, who inaugurated the Commercial Court complex for Chennai, announced that families of deceased advocates would be given a compensation of ₹10 lakh as against the present ₹7 lakh each under the Advocates Welfare Fund. He urged the CJI to ensure that the principle of social justice is followed in the appointment of judges to the High Courts and the Supreme Court. He also sought the opening of a Bench of the Supreme Court in Chennai.
Mr. Stalin requested that Tamil, the official language of the State, be allowed to be used in the Madras High Court and said four other States were using the local language in courts.
Mr. Stalin also handed over cheques to families of advocates, who had died due to COVID-19.
Supreme Court Judge M.M. Sundresh requested that the post of director of legal studies be filled up in the State. Supreme Court judge V. Ramasubramanian appreciated the performance of the Tamil Nadu judiciary and said the clearance rate was as high as 113% and the subordinate judiciary had been consistently clearing more than 90% of the cases. Chief Justice of the Madras High Court Munishwar Nath Bhandari said this was the first visit of the CJI and the Chief Minister to the court. He said the government had handed over 4.2 acres of land for the construction of the nine-storey building.
Minister for Law S. Regupathy; Advocate-General R. Shunmugasundaram; Chairman, Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry P.S. Amalraj; and Vice-Chairman, Bar Council of India, S. Prabhakaran spoke.