Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana on Saturday said that strengthening the district judiciary is the need of the hour as these courts are the driving force behind the legal aid movement in India.
District judicial officers are the first point of contact for a majority of the population. Public opinion of the judiciary is based on their experience with the district judiciary, he added.
CJI Ramana’s remarks came while addressing the 1st All India District Legal Services Authorities meet organised by NALSA.
CJI said that the purpose behind organising the Conference was to introspect on various factors governing the administration of justice and to discover ways and means to bring qualitative improvement to the system.
“Strengthening the district judiciary is the need of the hour. Without any doubt, the District Judiciary is the driving force behind the legal aid movement in India,” the CJI said.
“Wherever I go, I always attempt to project the achievements of the Indian judiciary in winning the trust and faith of the people. But if we intend to serve the people better, we need to flag the issues which hinder our functioning.
There is no meaning in camouflaging or hiding the problems. If we don’t discuss these issues, if matters of pressing concern are not addressed, then the system will cripple. I fear, we may be unable to fulfill our constitutional mandate of social justice. I urge you, therefore, to discuss, debate and decide!,” CJI Ramana said.
“The district judiciary is the backbone of the justice delivery system in the world’s largest democracy. The district judicial officers are the first point of contact for much of the population. Public opinion about the judiciary is primarily based on their experiences with the district judiciary,”he said.
The chief justice said that every progressive policy must find its basis on a strong foundation.
“This casts a great responsibility on your shoulders. You must undertake multifaceted tasks and roles. You are best placed to understand people’s problems and social issues,” he said. addressing the gathering.
He mentioned that India stands as the 5th largest economy in terms of GDP, and the second most populous country in the world. In the 21st century, the CJI said, the true strength at this juncture lies with our youth.
“With an average age of 29 years, India has one of the youngest populations in the world. One-fifth of the world’s youth live in India. This huge human resource, if properly trained, will drive our economic progress.
With skilled workers estimated to be only 3% of our total workforce, we need to harness the full potential of the youthful demographic profile of our country,” the CJI pointed out.
“I am glad that the 27 years long and noteworthy journey of NALSA is being captured and celebrated through the commemorative stamp by the Ministry of Communications,” he added.