Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday said increasing cost of litigation and marginalized sections` ability to avail their constitutional right to legal remedies was seriously hampered by their lack of resources.
Delivering a speech at the inauguration of Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) Centre here and sharing dias with Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam, she said "The growing population, increasing awareness of rights and the abiding confidence of the people in the judiciary have witnessed a tremendous spurt in litigation."
"However, in the Indian context, lack of awareness of legal provisions, mystifying legal terms, delays in disposal and the prohibitive cost of litigation are some of the barriers in the way of accessing justice. Cost of litigation has increased exponentially over time and the ability of the marginalized sections to avail of their constitutional right to legal remedies is seriously hampered by their lack of resources," she said.
Observing that there were a lot of litigants clamouring for speedy justice, she said, "But the elements of judiciousness, fairness, equality and compassion cannot be allowed to be sacrificed for the sake of expeditious disposal."
The Chief Minister said that ARD was an integral part of modern legal practice and jurisprudence, which would go a long way in weeding out the impediments to securing universal justice.
Holding that the idea of resolving matters outside a court room in an orderly, law abiding manner was prevalent in Indian society since time immemorial through `Panchayat system,` she said ADR mechanism mirrored a metaphorical bridge to this indigenous system.
Jayalalithaa said in any conflict it was the woman who encountered an uphill struggle to realise her rights to equality and dignity.
"Women in India face myriad cultural challenges that impede their social advancement. Women throughout the world face systematic gender-based discrimination and are regularly denied the right to life and security of person, recourse to legal rights, health care, education, employment, inheritance, and freedom of movement. This is an area quite close to my heart," she said.
She also referred to the pro-women schemes and initiatives she had taken during her earlier tenure as Chief Minister.