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Reduce case pendency: CJI

?HUMAN RIGHTS are an extension of natural rights, the most basic of which are the right to life and liberty. It therefore stands to reason that there cannot be one set of human rights for people living in a particular part of the world and a different set for those living elsewhere,? declared Chief Justice of India Justice Y K Sabharwal here on Tuesday.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2006 14:20 IST

“HUMAN RIGHTS are an extension of natural rights, the most basic of which are the right to life and liberty. It therefore stands to reason that there cannot be one set of human rights for people living in a particular part of the world and a different set for those living elsewhere,” declared Chief Justice of India Justice Y K Sabharwal here on Tuesday.

The remarks came while Justice Sabharwal was delivering the Rajendra Jain Memorial Law lecture organised on High Court premises here as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of Madhya Pradesh High Court this evening.

Union Law Minister H R Bhardwaj and a string of legal luminaries including MP High Court Chief Justice A K Patnaik, Justice Virender Jain, Administrative Judge (Indore bench) Justice S K Kulshreshtha and senior advocates Anand Mohan Mathur and Satish Bagadiya were among those present on the occasion.

“The large number of cases in court should not be cause for concern. People in any democracy have their set of aspirations and when these are not met they approach the courts,” said the CJI. What needs to be probed, though, is why cases drag on for years, he added.

Justice Sabharwal called for the bar and bench to work in close coordination to reduce case pendency and appealed to lawyers to

do some soul searching to determine whether the use of ‘adjournment culture’ was justified to delay cases. In a brief speech before reading out from the prepared text, the CJI reminisced about his long association with Indore, which, he declared, dated back to over a quarter of a century. Justice Sabharwal also paid glowing tributes to the late Rajendra Jain terming him not only a great legal brain, but also deeply committed to the welfare of the downtrodden.

The CJI exhorted the audience to introspect about the points made ‘after the lecture and applause is over’. Earlier, Union Law Minister H R Bhradwaj announced that the government was mulling a proposal to set up gram nayalayas (village courts) to reduce the large number of cases pending in subordinate courts.

“The Centre has created a time-bound framework for judicial appointments as well as disposal of pending cases, especially those pertaining to rape and sexual assault,” declared the Minister. Bhardwaj, too, stressed the need for greater bar-bench cooperation if benefits of the legal process were to extend to the largest possible segment of society. Earlier, several legal luminaries paid glowing tributes to Dr Rajendra Jain and recalled his sterling contributions to the judiciary in India in general and Indore in particular.

Satish Bagadiya delivered the welcome address and the vote of thanks was proposed by Justice S K Kulshreshtha. Earlier, the dignitaries lit the ceremonial lamp, which was followed by a rendition of the national anthem and Saraswati Vandana.