PTI, November 01, 2006
NEW DELHI: President A P J Abdul Kalam on Wednesday said there is a "shortage of leadership with nobility" in society, due to which people are looking up to the judiciary for protection of human rights.
"Our society is going through unique dynamics where the impacts are felt due to the shortage of leadership with nobility. It is said that a nation fails not because of economic progress but because of an increase in decision-makers with small minds," he said while delivering the 12th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture in New Delhi.
"As the dynamic judicial system is catching up with societal and technological evolution, the citizens of India look up to this institution with hope as the ultimate protector of human rights and the final resort for dispensation of justice."
Kalam said the multiple dimensions of judiciary can play a significant role along with other organs of democracy for ensuring an economically strong, safe and secure India.
The judiciary, as provider of justice, has to be the conscience keeper of citizens in enabling equity. It should provide legal awareness, fast and cost-effective resolution, extend help to the needy, dispense justice in a transparent manner and set ethical standards for society, Kalam said.
Kalam said the challenges before the nation call for leadership in every walk of life where individuals rise above themselves to fulfill responsibilities.
Emphasising the need to provide justice at the doorstep of poor rural citizens, Kalam said mobile legal aid and Lok Adalats can be helpful in achieving this goal.
Praising the functioning of these forums as alternate disputes redressal mechanisms in Bihar and Gujarat, he said, "This is one method of taking justice to the doorstep of rural citizens who constitutes 70 percent of the Indian population and a good justice delivery system for rural areas is the need of the hour."
He stressed that all 15,000 trial courts in the country should be computerised and connected with the Supreme Court and High Courts.
"Computerisation of the Supreme Court, High Courts and the sub-ordinate courts is essential for development of the e-judiciary system," he said.
Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, who also addressed the gathering, recalled his association with late Justice Sunanda Bhandare and called on the members of bars and the bench to emulate her qualities as a lawyer and a judge.
Sabharwal said Bhandare stood for the dignity of women as a class and worked for their uplift and gender equality.