President Ram Nath Kovind on November 26 lauded the judiciary for not allowing the coronavirus pandemic to come in the way of fulfilling the duty of securing justice for the citizens. "Cost is the topmost hurdle in improving access to justice for all," the President said the Constitution Day.
President Kovind said that he was happy to see that the apex court has been functioning and delivering justice amid the pandemic, using advanced technological solutions like video-conferencing and e-filing.
"I am pleased that the higher judiciary has started making available its judgments in more and more regional languages. This is surely the best way to keep more and more citizens in the loop, and thus bringing the institution of judiciary closer to the citizenry at large," President Kovind said.
Chief Justice SA Bobde said that the judiciary has worked hard through the pandemic and is committed to ensuring access to justice to all the citizens. "The Indian Supreme Court has fared far better than to courts of other countries," the CJI said.
Attorney General KK Venugopal recommended that there should be four intermediate courts of appeal with 15 judges each in the four corners of the country to ensure access to justice by all. "As per national judicial data grid, nearly 3.61 crore cases are pending as on today in courts across the country and the sad part is that around 4.29 lakh cases are pending for over 30 years," Venugopal said.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday praised the judiciary for rising to the occasion and working despite challenges during the pandemic. The minister expressed disappointment over unleashing of criticism of the top court for its judicial duties and asked the people not to use expressions like "judicial barbarism" in criticising the court's judgements.