Press Trust of india

Centre has taken various decisions to improve judicial infrastructure: Rijiju

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Mumbai: Stating that a robust judiciary is of “utmost importance” to make democracy successful, Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday underlined various decisions taken by the Centre to improve the judicial infrastructure.

Rijiju was speaking at the inauguration of two wings of the annexe building at the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court.

Notably, speaking after Rijiju at this event, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said judicial infrastructure is important for improving access to justice, but it is baffling to note that its improvement and maintenance was being carried out in an ad-hoc and unplanned manner in the country.

The Law minister said it was the responsibility of the Union government to ensure that the judiciary is not only extended full support but is also made robust. He also called for a “harmonious relationship” between the judiciary, executive and legislature.

“A robust judiciary is of utmost importance to make our democracy successful. We have taken many decisions to provide support to (judicial) infrastructure, which is core,” he said.

In the last Cabinet meeting, the Centre has taken various decisions. One of the important decisions was to sanction Rs 9,000 crore for the development of the infrastructure of the lower judiciary, Rijiju said.

This budget has been sanctioned for the construction of 3,800 court halls and 4,000 residential units for all the judicial officers in the district and subordinate courts among others, he added.

He said the Central government will “pool together” the money (Rs 9,000 crore) with state governments for developing  the judicial infrastructure.

“The Centre will provide Rs 5,357 crore for constructing 3,800 court halls and 4,000 residential units for judicial officers. We have made a provision for 1,450 lawyers’ halls. The government will construct 1,450 toilet complexes. There will be 3,800 digital computer rooms,” the Law minister said.

Rijiju said a provision has also been made for the betterment of gram nyayalayas (courts in villages).

As part of the ‘E-Court Mission Mode Project, 18,735 courts have been computerised so far, the Law minister said.

He said litigants can access the information of 19.43 crore cases and about more than 15.50 crore orders and judgments.

“Digital India is the mainstay and in the process, the digital judiciary will be equally important. Many steps have been taken already,” he said, adding that virtual courts have been set up at various locations.

The Law minister said a common citizen should not struggle to get justice.

“It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that the gap between justice and the common man must reduce as much as possible,” he said.

Acknowledging constraints, challenges and limitations, Rijiju also said “a genuine effort will make some advancement.”

“We all are working for our nation. We all are committed to giving justice to the people of this great nation. We are a team. We are just different organs of our system,” he added.

Rijiju said the Supreme Court emerged as a global leader with over 96,239 virtual hearings till July 9, 2021.

“The Supreme Court has taken a leadership role in ensuring the delivery of justice during the pandemic. In this duration, district courts heard 97.25 lakh cases while the high court heard 51.38 lakh cases till October 11 this year. The Supreme Court emerged as a global leader with over 96,239 virtual hearings till July 9, 2021,” he added.

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