President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday praised the judiciary for pursuing the “cherished goal of gender justice” and appreciated the Supreme Court for being always “pro-active and progressive”.
Delivering the valedictory address at the International Judicial Conference 2020-‘Judiciary and the Changing World’, he noted that the the Supreme Court had led a “progressive social transformation”. “In pursuing the cherished goal of gender justice, to mention one example, the Supreme Court of India has always been pro-active and progressive.”
“From issuing guidelines for preventing sexual harassment at the workplace two decades ago to providing directives for granting equal status to women in the Army this month, the Supreme Court of India has led a progressive social transformation,” he said.
The President expressed satisfaction with the court’s “extraordinary effort” to make its judgments more accessible to the common man by making them available in nine vernacular languages, keeping in mind the nation’s linguistic diversity.
Mr. Kovind referred to the judiciary’s role in harmonising environmental protection and sustainable development, as well as the challenges arising from the evolution of information technology and the emergence of such issues as data protection and right to privacy.
Besides landmark verdicts to strengthen the legal and constitutional framework, the Supreme Court’s Bench and Bar were known for their legal scholarship and intellectual wisdom, he said.
“The recent move towards an alternative dispute resolution mechanism is expected to reduce the burden on the court to a considerable extent,” he said. Indian courts were adopting new technologies, including artificial intelligence, to speed up justice delivery.
“I am sure that the deliberations of the conference will help to strengthen the judicial system not only in India but also in other countries,” he said.
Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde referred to the positive outcome of the deliberations and pointed out that the common thread binding judges of various jurisdictions was “a commitment to dispensation of justice”.
He said the Supreme Court’s judgments were cited by courts of other countries and had served as a “beacon of hope” to independent and developing nations. He said the judiciary’s task was not only to check those in power but also to empower the deprived citizens.