Centre will assist states boost judicial infrastructure

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said the Centre will facilitate states in setting up judicial infrastructure development authority as proposed by CJI N V Ramana and agreed upon by CMs and chief justices of HCs. The State Judicial Infrastructure Development Authority would be set up with CMs and CJs of high courts as members.

Addressing a joint press conference with Rijiju, CJI Ramana said the CMs and CJs had, in principle, agreed that there is an urgent need for improving judicial infrastructure across the country. “There has been unanimity to set up a special purpose vehicle for creation of judicial infrastructure development authority at the state level,” Justice Ramana said.

Rijiju said the government is ready to assist states in setting up judicial infrastructure authority. The CJI’s proposal included setting up of a National Judicial Infrastructure Development Authority under the supervision of the apex court. However, after concerns were raised by some CMs, it was agreed to go ahead with it at the state level.

The CJI sidestepped a query about the delay in finalising the memorandum of procedure for appointment of judges to HCs and SC. The MoP has been pending for more than six years, ever since a Constitution bench struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act.

Justice Ramana said most of the CMs and participating judges expressed concern about the delay in appointment of judges while the CJs raised issues of bad wireless connectivity in court complexes.

He said reforms are an ongoing process and cannot be achieved in a day as there are several hiccups.

Rijiju said the government is keen to implement local languages policy in courts but it will take time to implement it. He found support from the CJI who, however, said that “sometimes, some of the judges are not familiar with the local language. The chief justice will always be from outside. Senior-most judges sometimes are also from outside”. The law minister said the government is committed to promoting regional languages in technical and legal fields and consultations with stakeholders will be held. “Use of other languages will require approval of the CJI. That is why it needs wider consultation," Rijiju said.

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