President Ram Nath Kovind Saturday stressed the need to make high court judgements understandable to litigants in a language they know and suggested setting up of a mechanism to issue certified translated copies of verdicts.
The President also advocated for speedy disposal of cases as “the poorest and most underprivileged” in the society were the sufferers of delayed justice.
“Delay in delivery of justice is a pressing concern in our country. Often those who suffer are among the poorest and most underprivileged in our society. We must find mechanisms to ensure quick disposal of cases,” he said while addressing the valedictory function of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the High Court of Kerala here.
“We could all consider an approach that makes adjournments the exception in an emergency situation rather than a tactic to prolong court proceedings. We must find a way forward,” the President said at the function also attended by several judges including Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Kovind said it was important to not only take justice to the people, but also to make it understandable to litigating parties in a language they knew.
“High Courts deliver judgements in English, but we are a country of diverse languages. The litigant may not be conversant with English and the finer points of the judgement may escape him or her. The litigating parties will thus be dependent on the lawyer or another person to translate the judgement. This can add to time and cost,” he said.
The President suggested that a system could be evolved whereby certified translated copies of judgements were made available by the high courts in local or regional languages.
“This could happen in a period of say 24 or 36 hours after the judgement is pronounced. The language could be Malayalam in the Honourable Kerala High Court or Hindi in the Honourable Patna High Court, as the case may be,” Kovind said adding he was only making a suggestion in this regard.
“It is for the judiciary and the legal fraternity to discuss this and decide as appropriate,” he said.
The President also said the judiciary and justice delivery mechanism of the country would need to continue to keep up with technology and with changes in the society, as indeed they have been so capably doing.