The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu has called upon the Judiciary and the legal fraternity to take steps to make judicial processes more people-friendly and ensure timely delivery of justice. He stressed that law enforcement machinery and the justice dispensing structures must be made accessible, credible, equitable and transparently even-handed
Interacting with Law students of PES University, Bangaluru at Upa Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi today, he asked them to become important stakeholders in ensuring that people have access to justice. “You must play the role of change agents or social engineers addressing the socio-economic undercurrents and conflicts,” he added.
Pushing for reforms in legal education India, the Vice President said that there was an urgent need to revamp the existing legal education system and improve its scope to ensure that the new lawyers were trained to address a variety of new crimes triggered by technological advancements and liberalization.
He said that Legal education has to be alive to the problems of the 21st century such as anti-dumping, intellectual property violations relating to patents, trademark, and many other emerging once.
Opining that justice was the basis of a stable and prosperous society, Vice President stressed that it was very important that justice reaches the last man.
Stating that the most prominent Indian freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Rajaji were all lawyers and that their understanding of law helped them see through the disempowered condition of Indian masses under colonial rule.
“It was this deep understanding of equal human rights that propelled Gandhi Ji to demand a seat in the first-class compartment in a train in South Africa. He was denied this right and pushed off the train and that is how ‘Satyagraha’ was born,” he added.
Referring to Chief Justice of India’s recent remarks about heavy pendency of cases in various courts, Vice President said that there were nearly 60,000 cases pending in the Supreme Court and nearly 44 lakh cases in the High Courts.
Calling for steps to take action to reduce this heavy pendency, Vice President noted “Justice delayed, as is often said, is justice denied,”
The Vice President suggested promoting Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms for faster and less expensive forms such as arbitration to reduce pendency at various courts.
Pointing out that unfair practices by some members of the legal fraternity will affect the image of the legal profession as a whole, he asked them to set the highest standards of professionalism and personal integrity in their life, Vice President asked them to become role models for others and develop empathy for weaker sections of society and do their bit to help them.
Vice President said that that there was a huge scope for India to become the hub of international arbitration and for that he suggested developing the right kind of human resource by providing training, right from law colleges.