PIL important for providing justice, says President

Kolkata, May 5 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee Sunday praised public interest litigations (PIL) for helping in delivering justice, but urged the judiciary to “observe self discipline” to “maintain the balance with the executive and legislature”.

“I would like to compliment the Indian judiciary for one innovation: PIL. A man staying in the remotest part of the country can write a postcard to the chief justice of this largest functional democracy and can get justice,” Mukherjee said during the sesquicentennial celebrations of Calcutta High Court here.

“A small news item published in the media can draw the attention and the trusted judicial system can initiate action to provide justice,” said Mukherjee.

Stressing that the success of parliamentary democracy depended on “maintaining a fine balance” among the executive, legislature and the judiciary, he called upon the judiciary to “observe self discipline” to hold the balance.

“It is responsibility of the judiciary to innovate a mechanism to self-discipline itself and maintain the balance,” he said.

Observing that people’s expectations from the judiciary are very high, Mukherjee asked judges to think of how they could meet these expectations.

Mukherjee also expressed concern over the fact that only 10 women have so far become so far judges of the Calcutta High Court and asked the judiciary to think about how more women can be encouraged to come to the forefront.

Addressing the function, Supreme Court Chief Justice Altamas Kabir asked for deliverance of justice “tempered with sensitivity and social cause”.

He expressed concern over the pendency of cases before the courts, but cautioned judges not to go on a “disposal spree”.

He appealed to judges to give an audience to the people to ensure proper justice, and said quality of judgments should not suffer because of quantity.

“By disposing of matters without hearing people, without hearing counsels, you are doing more injustice than justice,” Justice Kabir said.

Justice Kabir also underscored that the administration should ensure that justice meted out by the courts was acted upon.

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