Chief Justice of India H L Dattu today voiced concern over rising cost of litigation and pendency of cases in courts, saying steps should be taken to ensure that people get “real access to justice.”
He praised the role played by Lok Adalats in disposing of cases swiftly.
“Disposal of 1.25 crore cases in Lok adalat, a figure more than double than the first one, is a clear indicator that there are so many citizens desperate for justice,” he said while addressing a convocation at National Law University (NLU) here.
Litigation, rather than the plight of the litigants, is the harsh reality of today’s legal system, Justice Dattu said, adding,”I believe that most amicable and effective way to solve a dispute is to end it before it reaches the courts, which should be the last resort.”
Unless the entire judges and lawyers of the nation come together, the legal system of the country would be crushed under the burden of pendency, he said.
He also drew attention towards the rising cost of fighting or even defending a case and said “real access to justice” has to be addressed.
“Justice is not a commodity to be sold or auctioned to the highest bidder with the aim of making profits,” Dattu said.
The Chief Justice said that the delay in disposal of cases and their “huge pile up” in courts is plaguing the legal fraternity.
“Now it is a perception of the common man that the cases linger on for years and years,” he said.
Dattu today awarded law degrees to 199 NLU pass-out from three consecutive sessions– 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Advocating use of law as an instrument of social engineering, Justice Dattu said, “the law can introduce a smoothness in the act of change, prevent upheavals and eliminate jolts in the onward march of the society.