New Delhi: Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Friday said the general perception that securing justice is the responsibility of the judiciary alone is not correct as both the executive and the legislature being repositories of constitutional trust are equally saddled with the responsibility of ensuring complete justice.
Rejecting the oft-repeated charge of judicial activism or judicial overreach, CJI Ramana asserted that the “Laxman Rekha drawn by the Constitution is sacrosanct”, but at times, in the interest of justice, courts are compelled to pay attention to unresolved grievances. “The intention behind such limited judicial interventions is to “nudge the executive, and not to usurp its role,” CJI Ramana observed.
“The Constitutional obligation, and the duty of the judiciary to intervene needs to be appreciated in this context,” he underlined, pointing to the judiciary's constitutional responsibility.
The attempts to project such “interventions and constructive observations as the targeting of one institution by another, are totally misplaced. If encouraged, CJI said, such attempts will prove to be detrimental to the health of democracy.”
Any deviation by the legislature or executive from the path prescribed by the Constitution will only lead to additional burden on the judiciary, Chief Justice Ramana said.
“The general perception is that securing justice is the responsibility of the judiciary alone. This is not correct. To the contrary, it is all the three organs of the state which are responsible for upholding this commitment to secure justice. All the three organs are repositories of Constitutional trust. While the judiciary is the “guardian of the Constitution”,... the executive and the legislature must work in conjunction with the judiciary to ensure complete justice as envisaged under the Constitution,” the Chief Justice said.
Speaking at a function organised by the Supreme Court to celebrate the Constitution Day at Vigyan Bhawan, Chief Justice Ramana touched upon a number of issues including judicial vacancies particularly in subordinate judiciary, pendency of cases, need for setting up statutory authority both at the national level and in the states for judicial infrastructure and a fiscal backup for equipping judiciary with modern technology and generating awareness about constitution, rights and duties and the rule of law.
The Chief Justice expressed “grave concern” over increasing incidents of attacks on judges, including physical attacks which are rising.
“There are attacks on the judiciary in the media, particularly social media. These attacks appear to be sponsored and synchronised,” CJI said, adding that the law enforcing agencies, particularly the Central agencies, need to deal with such malicious attacks effectively and the governments are expected to create a “secure environment so that the judges and judicial officers can function fearlessly.”
CJI Ramana also called for the “Indianisation of the Judiciary” saying that it requires a wide range of reforms because the judicial system as it exists today is essentially still colonial in nature. “It takes no account of the social realities or the local conditions. The procedures followed, the language of arguments and judgments, and the high costs involved are all contributing to alienating the common man from the judicial system.”
Earlier in the day, CJI Ramana speaking at a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association, focusing on the role and importance of debate and dialogue in nation-building, said that it was only through debate and discussion that the nation evolves and achieves higher levels of the welfare of the people.
“It is through such debate and discussion that the nation ultimately progresses, evolves, and achieves higher levels of welfare for the people”, Chief Justice Ramana said pointing out that the constitution that we have today is far “richer and more complex than what it was when adopted” by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949.