BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 5: “Our Constitution has guaranteed every citizen the right to Justice - Social, Economic and Political. Here lies the importance of an efficient justice delivery system. Unless we ensure proper justice delivery to our citizens, we will not be able to harvest the fruits of democracy,” said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at the Joint Conference of Chief Ministers of the States and Chief Justices of the High Courts, organized by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Judiciary at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Sunday.
Welcoming the initiative to bring in synergy between the Executive and the Judiciary, Chief Minister Gogoi underscored the need to create an atmosphere where the two pillars of the Government work in tandem ‘to ensure justice delivery to our citizens and fulfill the basic aim of our Constitution to secure justice to all’.
Gogoi stressed on the need to ensure the margilized sections of the society get access to justice. “Any attempt to improve the justice delivery system without giving emphasis to accessibility by the margilized sections of society is itself an injustice. We must ensure that the poorest of the poor can access the doors of justice even at the highest level,” he added.
Expressing concern over the alarming rate of pendency of cases owing to delay in delivery of justice, he said, “Our synergy must be directed towards innovation of new ways that will eble clearing of backlog of pending cases and ensure speedy justice to our citizens.”
The Chief Minister, while emphasizing on quality judgment, called for proper training of judicial officers. In this context, he laid stress on time-bound implementation of e-court project to ‘bring about sea-changes in the justice delivery system.’
Gogoi underscored the need to bring in innovative legislations, both operatiol as well as structural in the Judiciary, to cater to the needs and aspirations of the society in tune with changing surroundings. In this context, he welcomed the recent initiative to bring in the Commercial Divisions and Commercial Appellate Divisions in the High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015.
Dwelling at length on the slew of initiatives taken by the State government to strengthen judicial infrastructure and manpower that include sanctioning of 36 new courts, converting 20 ad-hoc fast track courts to regular courts, sanctioning of 54 new fast track courts for trial of offences against women, and doubling the number of courts at subordite levels, Gogoi said the new infrastructure in place has resulted in steady decline in the pendency of cases over the years. “Pendency of cases is steadily declining even though there is increase in the institution of fresh cases. This is definitely an encouraging sign. However, there is no scope for complacency, as we have a long road ahead to deliver justice to the litigants by disposing of cases in a time-bound manner,” he added.
Chief Minister Gogoi urged the Central government to grant a special package to Northeastern States, including Assam, for overall development of justice delivery system in the region.