The Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu today expressed concern over the mounting pendency of cases from the Supreme Court to the lower courts and urged the government and the judiciary to ensure faster justice by addressing the issue.
Addressing through virtual mode the Platinum Jubilee meet of Dr B.R. Ambedkar College of Law, Andhra University on the occasion of its 76th Foundation Day, he underscored the need to make delivery of justice speedier and affordable. Citing adjournment of cases over long periods, he observed that justice was becoming costly and referred to the well-known proverb “justice denied is justice delayed”.
The Vice President said that Public Interest Litigations (PILs) should not become private interest litigations for personal, pecuniary and political interests. There was nothing wrong if it was for a larger public cause, he stressed.
Asking the law students to be the voice of the voiceless and to use their legal knowledge to empower the marginalized people, he advised them to take up legal aid for the poor as a commitment. He also told the budding lawyers to nurture professionalism and ethical conduct, while being fearless and fair when it comes to discharging their duties. “Fight injustice wherever it exists and in whichever manner it is perpetuated”, he added.
Highlighting the need to avoid ambiguity while drafting laws, the Vice President said laws should be simple and uncomplicated. The focus should not only be on the letter but also on the spirit of and the intent behind our laws. “The intent and purpose of the law must be very clear”, he added.
Observing that lawyers are capable of bringing about great social transformation, the Vice President said that as a society evolves, so must its laws. “We must constantly introspect and scrutinize our laws from the prism of justice, fairness, equity, compassion and humanity and must continually reform and update our laws, rules and regulations”, he said.
M Venkaiah Naidu said that laws which do not find a place in a progressive society must be repealed without prejudice and without delay, while modifying others to suit the times.
Calling for an all-round effort to improve our justice system, the Vice President spoke of the need to continually improve our legal infrastructure and access to justice, especially for the common man. Expressing concern that a vast majority of our laws and regulations were still illegible to the ordinary citizen, he called for the expansion of legal literacy.
Referring to the New Education Policy, he stressed the need to impart basic primary and upper primary education in mother tongue. “I go a step further, in due course of time, we must strive hard to see that all our systems and public life mother tongue must be used, practiced and propagated. Whether it is education, whether it is governance or whether it is judiciary, people must be able to speak, argue and write in their mother tongue so that they are able to express freely”.
Quoting Gandhi Ji, who had said “the ancient ideal of Ramarajya is undoubtedly one of true democracy in which the meanest citizen could be sure of swift justice without an elaborate and costly procedure”, the Vice President said “ the foundation of Ramarajya is truth and justice and that is what we aspire for when we strengthen various institutions of democratic governance, including the judiciary”.
He asked young students to look upon legal profession as a mission and always be ready to be of service to the most powerless and helpless of our citizens.
Advising students to remain life-long learners and understand the nuances of our democratic system and the functioning of its institutions and processes, M Venkaiah Naidu stressed the need to make policies that are not only legally sound but also morally righteous and socially just.
Paying rich tributes to the founder of the College, Dr C.R. Reddy, he recalled his student days and said that his time at the college laid strong foundations to his political and public life.
Justice T. Rajani and Justice, Battu Devanand, Hon’ble Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, Prof. P.V.G.D. Prasada Reddy, Vice Chancellor, Andhra University, Prof. S. Sumitra, Principal, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar College of Law, Prof. D.S. Prakasa Rao, Dean, Faculty of Law, Andhra University, Prof.K.Gupteswar , Founder Principal, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar College of Law, Dr.P.S.Rao, Special Adviser, Attorney-General Office, State of Qatar and others were present on the occasion.