High time to act on judicial reforms: Prez

New Delhi: It is high time that everyone not just think but also act on judicial reforms, President Pranab Mukherjee said today.

In his address at a book release function, Mukherjee said the country’s judicial system, which was raised more than six decades ago, requires major changes.

“Reform, I mean. Change is a continuous process. It cannot be stop and go. Every system with course of time develop certain clogs within itself. There is need for constant change,” he said.

He was speaking after receiving the first copy of the book ‘Judicial Reforms Recent Global Trends’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who formally released it.

The book, written by Dalveer Bhandari, a judge at the International Court of Justice, talks about the need of judicial reforms.

“The simple point which I am trying to drive at is that it is high time for all of us to collectively not only think but also to act how to address these issues. Without Bench, without adequate infrastructure, we cannot have any sort of reforms worthwhile,” Mukherjee said.

He said in his tenure as President, the Allahabad High Court, which is the largest in the country, saw less than 50 per cent of its sanctioned posts of 180 judges being filled.

“If this situation of the higher judiciary is so bad, one can imagine the conditions of the lower judiciary. State and Union governments should work hand in hand to address the shortage of basic infrastructure such as courtrooms and essential facilities for judges.

“There is no dearth of talent in the country but there must be a system in place to address such issues,” he said.

Dignitaries present on the occasion included Chief Justice of India J S Khehar; Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Justice Vikramajit Sen, Vice President, India International Law Foundation, a non-profit organisation.