Shillong: Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on Monday inaugurated the Meghalaya High Court which is the first of three high courts being set up in the Northeast, the other two being Manipur High Court and Tripura Hight Court.
Justice T Meena Kumari was sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya.
In his inaugural address, Justice Kabir said the three high courts in the Northeast was a fulfillment of an overdue pledge in the Constitution.
"It is something which is historic and was long due," Justice Kabir said adding that his several visits to the region had made him realise that "people here wanted to know what the legal system in the mainland was and why things cannot be integrated in such a way that everybody becomes part of this great country."
He said that the inauguration of the new high courts would go a long way in fulfilling the aspirations of the people.
Union Minister for Law and Justice Ashwani Kumar said the operationalisation of the High Court will bring justice to the doorsteps of the people and will ensure a credible and expeditious justice according to traditions, local customs and realities of this area.
Kumar said the occasion was "historic because since 1972 when Meghalaya (and Manipur besides Tripura) was created, there was a persistent demand of the people to have their own high courts."
He said that an able bar and a fiercely independent judiciary will together help deliver the promise made in the Constitution of efficient justice delivery system.
"You can cloak the law by words but actually the spirit of the law is in the spirit of the people who are the beneficiaries of the law," he observed.
Quoting jurist O Wendell Holmes, that the life of law is not logic but experience, Kumar said, "That is why we need to have respect for local traditions, customs and understanding. That realisation will enable us to make law a living experiment relevant to the aspirations and sensitivities of the people for whom law is meant."
In his speech, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that justice was crucial to democracy and that he firmly believes that expeditious trial and disposal of cases would create an environment where people would automatically develop high respect for law.