Chennai

Do not remain silent about social evils: Dattu

( From left) F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, Judge, Supreme Court; H.L. Dattu, Chief Justice of India; C. Nagappan, Judge, Supreme Court; and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Chief Justice, Madras High Court, at the Madras Bar Association’s 150th year valedictory in Chennai on Saturday.— Photo: R. Ragu

( From left) F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, Judge, Supreme Court; H.L. Dattu, Chief Justice of India; C. Nagappan, Judge, Supreme Court; and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Chief Justice, Madras High Court, at the Madras Bar Association’s 150th year valedictory in Chennai on Saturday.— Photo: R. Ragu

The legal fraternity needs to stand up for those in need and not keep silent when an evil is seen, Supreme Court Chief Justice H.L. Dattu said here on Saturday.

Speaking at the valedictory function of the 150{+t}{+h}year of the Madras Bar Association, Justice Dattu said it is imperative that each judicial officer and every member of the Bar endeavour to make justice meaningful, expeditious and inexpensive.

“In today’s world, a lawyer is not merely confined to wearing black robes of an advocate in the court. You wear an additional robe — that of a social reformer. The challenges in society are multidimensional and one must strive to overcome them in a timely and suitable manner,” said Justice Dattu.

“In keeping silent about evil, we bury it deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface. When we neither punish nor reproach evil-doers, we are not simply protecting them, we are ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations,” he said.

Stressing the need for a strong and competent Bar for shouldering an independent judiciary, he said efficacy of the rule of law impacts economic growth and development, good governance as well as protection of human rights. “Democracy and the rule of law are inextricably connected to each other; a decline in one would inevitably impact the other adversely,” he said.

“It is the need of the hour to reduce the accumulated arrears in courts and evolve a method of quick disposal of disputes. We must, therefore, adapt ourselves to changing situation — both domestic and global.”

Pointing to the growing perception among people that the nobility of legal profession was being diminished, Justice Dattu said, “there is no dearth of great minds in this country. That being the case, one may question, why is the justice system criticised as being among others, slow and ineffective. It would be necessary to remember that this profession is not a mere profession which one undertakes to eke out a living.”

Making a mention of the contribution of the Madras Bar Association in the recent decision before the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India pertaining to the National Tax Tribunal, Justice Dattu said the association is known to produce some of the best minds in the country. Supreme Court Judges F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, Justice C. Nagappan, Justice R. Banumathi and Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul spoke.


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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 10:29:13 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/do-not-remain-silent-about-social-evils-dattu/article7044567.ece