LUCKNOW: Vice President M Hamid Ansari has cautioned that lack of access to justice, the high cost of it, delays in the delivery of justice, lack of a mechanism for accountability and allegations of corruption have, together, given rise to doubts and added to the pervasive pessimism about the efficacy of judicial institutions.
He said that the burden of delivery of Rule of Law falls on the judges. The vice-president was addressing the Sesquicentennial Celebrations of the Allahabad High Court, in the new building of the Lucknow bench here today.
Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik, Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, UP Minister Ahmed Hasan and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Vice President said that the traditional public esteem for the judiciary has been reinforced by its activism in contrast to the failure of the executive to apply correctives on matters of concern and this is particularly true of its good work in expanding the ambit of rights. He further added that another area of concern is the excessive zeal reflected at times in pronouncements of members of the judiciary.
Referring to Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the Vice President said that judges should discharge their duties objectively and impartially and added that rectitude is thus a prime requirement in judiciary as in all other walks of life and must be observed at all times and at all levels.
The Vice President said that the changing world has made globalization an unavoidable necessity and this, in the ultimate analysis, cannot be restricted to economics and trade policy only and extends to global standards in all fields including in the area of dispensation of justice; by implication, the space for local peculiarities is shrinking. “The sooner we adjust to it, the better for all litigants, lawyers, judges and the eventual beneficiary would be public,” he added.
He said that the Allahabad High Court of Judicature is one of the oldest high courts in the country. He said today, it is the biggest in terms of work load, the number of judges and, regrettably, in terms of vacancies on the bench. The Lucknow Bench of High Court itself has had a long and distinguished history.
Governor Ram Naik in his address said that the pendency of the cases in the high court should be decreased by filling up the vacancies of judges.
” There are just 44 per cent of the judges working in Allahabad HC while 56 per cent are vacant which is the main reason for the rising pendency of the cases,” he said. Mr Naik said that this new big building of the court would be no use if the court rooms are not used due to lack of judges.
Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court Dr D Y Chandrachud welcomed the guests and spoke in detail about the long history of the court.