NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Saturday said recognition and protection of people's rights and dignity as well as speedy justice are imperative for the functioning of a healthy democracy.
Laying the foundation stone for a Rs 310 crore modern J&K high court building in Srinagar, Justice Ramana said, "Expeditious adjudication of disputes is the hallmark of a healthy democracy".
He said denial of justice would result in anarchy and destabilisation of the judicial institution as people would seek solution to their grievances through extrajudicial mechanisms. "Peace shall only prevail, when people's dignity and rights are recognised and protected," he said.
CJI Ramana said the major challenge faced by the judiciary is dispensing speedy and affordable justice, which is imperative for protection of Rule of Law. "The justice delivery mechanism in India is complex and expensive," he said.
The CJI said, "The judiciary must be at its innovative best to ensure that the challenges to its working are met with just and constitutional measures. Technology has been a strong aid. Now, virtual courts are bridging the gaps of accessibility. But in India, where a vast digital divide still exists, much needs to be done in order to harness the full potential of technological innovations".
However, he said the district judiciary is the foundation of the justice delivery system, but "the condition of judicial infrastructure across the country is far from satisfactory. Courts are operating from rented accommodations and under deplorable conditions". There is an urgent need to fill 22% of vacant posts in district courts, which cumulatively have 4.8 crore pendency of cases, he added.