New Delhi: Every institution has to evolve in tune with the times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday at a judicial forum, in an apparent reference to the Supreme Court scrapping the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) law and retaining the collegium system.
The Prime Minister also suggested that rendering free legal aid to poor should be a criterion in selection of judges.
"No institution can remain static. Changes are inevitable in tune with the times. There is a need to change the way we think -- old things are best and that is why we will not lay our hands on them is not the way," he said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a gathering of top judges, law officers and legal experts at the foundation day celebration of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) here with Justice T S Thakur, who is set to become the next Chief Justice, on the dais along with a few other judges.
Heaping praise on NALSA for extending free legal services to millions of people, Modi suggested incorporation of the criteria of rendering free legal aid to poor in selection of judges.
"I was telling Justice Thakur with diffidence, when there is recruitment (of judges) can we ask them how much time you had devoted for providing legal aid to poor," said Modi.
Noting that government will support NALSA's effort to ensure justice to poor, the Prime Minister said every institution has to keep changing.
"You have done a great job in improving the institution (NALSA). In every system, the boundary should expand consistently, its characteristics should keep changing and its power should keep growing (har vyavastha mei, nirantar uska daira badhna chahiye, uska roop rang badalna chahiye, unka takat badhte rehna chahiye..)," he said.
Stressing that ensuring justice to poor was very important for India's overall development, Modi added "justice for all" to his slogan of "Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas (Together with all, Development for all)."
"I believe in 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' and with that there must be 'Sabka Nyay'," he said.