Expressing concern over non-affordability of legal services by the poor in the country, President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday called upon on the legal fraternity to provide free legal services, to the ordinary citizen.
“All three organs of the state – the judiciary, executive, and legislature – need to be careful not to cross into each other’s finely-defined spaces. Or give the opportunity to read transgressions even when none is intended,” he said
President Kovind inaugurated the two-day conference on National Law Day in New Delhi on Saturday.
Addressing the gathering of eminent Judges, Advocates, and lawmakers Kovind, said that poor often shy away from the judicial process due to delay and costs, and this has to be addressed.
“India has acquired a reputation for an expensive legal system. In part, this is because of delays but there is also a question of affordability of fees,” Kovind said on access to justice to the common person.
“The idea is that a relatively poor person cannot reach the doors of justice for a fair hearing only because of financial or similar constraints while it’s in our constitutional values and republic ethics. It is a burden on our collective conscience,” he added.
The President also said this is the age of communication and “we must use it to speed up justice delivery system”.
“The time has come to examine the issue of adjournments and whether they are to be limited just to absolute emergencies – or continue to be allowed to be used for tactical delays by one party or the other,” he said.
President said that endeavors like enhancing legal literacy, simplifying legal rules, easier language while delivering judgments; quick availability of certified translated copies of High Court judgments in the local language will take justice closer to ordinary citizen