India needs urgent judicial reforms: Pranab Mukherjee

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 20:06

Guwahati: Emphasising the need for easy accessibility of justice to the vulnerable sections of society, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said there is an urgent need to reform the country`s judicial system.

"In order to provide speedy and quality justice accessible to the ordinary citizens, there is urgent need to reform our judicial system," Mukherjee said here.

He was in the city to deliver a lecture at a seminar organised by the Bar Council of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

"An effective justice delivery system requires that justice should not only be delivered on time, but should also be easily accessible to people, particularly people from vulnerable sections of society," Mukherjee said.

The approach to reform must be guided by a thorough understanding of current shortcomings and future needs of the system, he added.

"The process of reform must begin with an assessment of the country`s needs that the legal profession seeks to fulfill, namely the requirements across various levels of the judiciary, gaps in the criminal justice system, specific areas within the law which will require an increased number of practitioners in the near future etc," the President said.

As part of judicial reforms, the lawyer community, which has often been ignored, should also be considered, he added.

"Legal education and continuing professional development must create a socially sensitive lawyer of conscience, for whom justice delayed is not an opportunity but a blemish on one`s professional persona and a failure of the system of which one is an integral part."

"The ideal Indian lawyer must not only have excellent legal skills, but also embody social responsibility and strong professional ethics. The efficacy of the rule of law depends to a large extent on the integrity of lawyers who are the link between the citizen and the system of justice," he said.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 20:06

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