The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the new building of the High Court of Jharkhand at Ranchi today (May 24, 2023).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the inauguration of new building for the Jharkhand High Court is a landmark event. This building is truly impressive with its modern amenities and state-of-the-art physical infrastructure. She noted that the entire campus is designed and constructed keeping in mind the principle of energy conservation. The afforestation along with the presence of a variety of trees makes it truly a green campus. She expressed confidence that the new building of the Jharkhand High Court will inspire other public and private organisations to make the environment the central factor in their projects of similar nature.
The President said that the court is a temple of justice. People of this nation look at courts with faith and even the language of law reflects that feeling, when we use words like ‘pray’. People themselves have given courts the power to dispense justice and to set wrongs right. She added that it is a very serious responsibility indeed.
The President said that the question of access to justice has many aspects. Cost is among the most important of these. It has been observed that the expenses of litigation all too often put the quest of justice out of reach for many citizens. In response, various authorities have taken a number of welcome initiatives, including the opening of free legal counseling cells. She urged all stakeholders to think innovatively and find new ways to expand the reach of justice.
The President said that another aspect of access is language. As English has been the primary language of courts in India, a large section of the population is left out of the process. The language of justice should be inclusive, so that the parties to the particular case as well as interested citizens at large can become effective stakeholders in the system. She said that in a state like Jharkhand with rich linguistic variety, this factor becomes all the more relevant. She expressed confidence that the authorities are considering ways to make the court processes more accessible to people who are more comfortable with languages other than English.
The President reiterated the need to make justice accessible to undertrials. She said that one of the reasons behind the problem is that courts are overburdened, which also hurts access to justice. She said that the problem is complex, yet the fact remains that a large number of people languish for years in prisons as undertrials. Prisons are overcrowded, making their life all the more difficult. She said that root cause of the problem should be addressed. She said that it is good to see that the problem has been noticed widely, the issue is being debated, and some of the best minds of the legal fraternity are seized of the matter. She was happy to note that several steps have been taken to make justice delivery system more accessible and inclusive especially for women of different segments of the Indian society. She expressed confidence that together we will soon be able to find a way out.
The President concluded her speech by underlining the issues related to implementation of verdicts given by the courts. She urged the Chief Justice of India, Union Minister of Law and Justice, Chief Justices of High Courts, judges, lawyers and other stakeholders to devise a system to deal with the cases where the verdicts are not implemented. She highlighted that the people who have spent their time, energy and money to fight the case for years should get justice in real sense.
Earlier in the day, the President paid floral tributes before the statues of Bhagwan Birsa Munda and Lance Naik Albert Ekka at Ranchi. She also interacted with the members of PVTGs of Jharkhand at Raj Bhavan, Ranchi.