Justice NV Ramana | ANI file photo
Hyderabad: Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana on Friday said he is making efforts to fill up vacancies in the judiciary and to improve judicial infrastructure in the country, besides addressing issues relating to security of judges and others.
Our judiciary is overburdened, he said, while speaking after inaugurating the two-day Telangana State Judicial Officers Conference here.
The CJI said he has taken up filling up vacancies and improving the infrastructure of the judiciary soon after taking over.
"The reason is access to justice is possible only when we provide sufficient number of courts as well as infrastructure," he said.
Justice Ramana said he wanted to see that there are no pending vacancies either in the high courts, Supreme Court or the district judiciary.
He also sought to see that the judicial system is strengthened. Chief Justice Ramana added judicial infrastructure was found to be inadequate in different parts of the country.
In the case of Telangana, he had cleared the pending file for increasing the number of judges from 24 to 42 without delay, he said.
He requested the judicial officers to create a congenial environment for the litigants and to always remember the human aspects of the dispute.
"Law cannot be far from equity. It is important to project the human face of the judiciary whenever you have scope for invoking your discretion," he said.
The judicial officers must sensitize themselves to different vulnerabilities of the parties, including minors, women and persons with disabilities who may have different requirements, and treat everyone with respect, he said.
Highlighting the significant role played by the judicial officers in the Constitutional scheme of things, he said the officers should apply their mind independently on the materials presented before them.
"For instance, the requirement of the Criminal Procedure Code are not mere formalities. They are an important check on the executive excesses and represent substantive rights of the accused," he said.
The judicial officers must keep themselves updated and they will be able to apply the changing law and precedents to cases before them and ensure justice only when they are aware of them, he said.
He stressed on the judicial officers performing their duties without any fear.
"I am aware of the increasing physical attacks on judges. I am doing my utmost to prevent such occurrences. Directions were issued to improve the security of the judicial officers both inside and outside court rooms," Justice Ramana said.
He also urged them to take care of their physical as well as mental health.
Acknowledging the importance of financial well being, he said: "Only when you are free from financial worries, you will be able to give your best. Let me assure you that I am taking up that issue related to pay commission and you will soon get a good news on this front".
He said the Constitutional Courts have been functioning with full potential with COVID-19 pandemic becoming less intense.
He urged the judicial officers to make sincere efforts to spare extra time for court, beyond regular Court Hours, as part of efforts to deal with the backlog of cases.
Referring to the International Arbitration and Mediation Centre here in whose establishment he was involved, Justice Ramana said people from several states have shown interest to establish similar arbitration centres.
He said franchise centres can be set up in different states once the Hyderabad centre, established recently, is strengthened.
He appreciated Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for his proactive role in facilitating the functioning of judiciary in the state.
He also praised Rao for taking up recruitment for over 4,000 jobs in the judiciary, at a time when the Central government and states sought to take up recruitment on contractual basis.
Supreme Court judge Justice V Ramasubramanian, Telangana High Court Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, Telangana Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao and several other dignitaries attended the event.