Technology can facilitate speedy justice delivery: President (Second Lead)

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New Delhi : President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said that technology can be a great enabler of a speedy justice delivery system as he exhorted lawyers not to seek adjournments except in unavoidable circumstances.

Stating that there is a "culture of seeking adjournments as a norm rather than an exception", the President called for curbing the practice and expressed confidence that the "entire legal fraternity will resolve not to seek adjournments except in absolutely unavoidable circumstances".

The President said this while inaugurating a day-long national conference on "Technology, Training and Infrastructure: Keys to Speedy Justice" and "The Changing Face of Legal Education in India", organised by the Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association.

Pointing out that the "judges are over burdened with sheer volume of cases" and as a "consequence, the Indian legal system is marked by long delays", Kovind referred to the steps taken by the government to reduce the backlog of cases including the merger of tribunals.

Infrastructure gaps and considerable vacancies, particularly in subordinate courts, were amongst the reasons for delays in the justice delivery system, he said.

Dwelling upon the issue of judicial infrastructure for an efficient justice delivery system, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said: "Investment in infrastructure remains a primary concern, for without adequate infrastructure development we cannot realize our commitment of justice for all."

"The infrastructural gaps shall not be allowed to multiply for long. We must plug these gaps at the earliest opportunity before they leave a deep scar on the administration of justice and it becomes too late to act wisely," Chief Justice Misra said.

Emphasising on the urgency of providing judicial infrastructure, the Chief Justice said: "Fiscal constraint is no excuse. The need is to strengthen the judiciary as a result of which the justice delivery system becomes fast, qualitatively responsive and serve the cause of justice."

Calling for "widening the network of courts to bring it within the geographical reach of a common man", the Chief Justice said the widespread use of technology has made citizens socially aware and informed and are "more vigilant and cautious of their rights against any form of exploitation by the organs of the states".

Speaking on the occasion, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said that legal education has taken a great leap from his students days of book-based learning to the present-day exposure to all-around learning which extends to other countries as well.

In a note of caution, Attorney General said that lawyers should guard against the general lack of trust in them as people do not readily accommodate them.

He singled out strikes by the lawyers as one of the reasons contributing to the delays in the disposal of cases.