Jaipur: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot and Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju during the 18th Meeting of All India Legal Service Authorities held by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), in Jaipur on Saturday, July 16, 2022. | PTI
Jaipur: Union Law Minister Kiran Rijiju and CM of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot spoke out against the high fees of Supreme Court lawyers and said that how can an ordinary man afford it. Rijjiu said, “Those who are resourceful and wealthy hire well-paid lawyers who charge Rs 10-15 lakh for a hearing, but the common man cannot afford it.” While, Gehlot said lawyers’ fees are so high that the poor guy can’t go to the Supreme Court.
Both were addressing the inaugural session of the 18th meeting of the All India Legal Services Authority in Jaipur on Saturday. The two-day meeting is organized by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).
In the presence of CJI NV Ramana and High Court judges across the country, Gehlot even said that many judges reach their verdict by looking at lawyers’ faces. “There should also be a limit on fees. One crore, 80 lakh, 50 lakh rupees. You don’t know what’s going on in the country? I had raised this point once at the Chief Justice’s meeting as well. Also consider this situation. Make a committee. There must be a way, Gehlot said.
Gehlot also commented on the concern of judges and senior officers over their post-retirement benefits and said, “Four Supreme Court justices said democracy was in danger and later one of them became CJI , I had asked the president, was he just before or is he now? It is beyond my comprehension. Then he became a member of parliament.
While Kiren Rijiju said, “There are many lawyers in the Supreme Court of Delhi, which the common man cannot afford. If a lawyer charges 10 lakh, Rs 15 lakh for hearing in each case. No court should be reserved for influential people. This is a concern for us. I have always believed that the door of justice should always be open to everyone in the same way.
Rijiju asserted that regional and local languages should be promoted in proceedings before lower and higher courts.
The Minister said the mother tongue should not be considered inferior to English and asserted that he did not subscribe to the view that a lawyer should get more respect, records or fees just because speak more English.
“If I have a problem speaking English, I should have the freedom to speak my mother tongue. I am not in favor of those who speak a lot of English having more respect, more business or more ‘fees. I’m against it,” Rijiju said.
Expressing his concern over the growing number of backlog cases in the country, he said such cases would be 5 crores but the backlog can be reduced through coordination between the judiciary and the government. He said the aim should be to reduce cases by 2 crores in two years.
Addressing the conference, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said on Saturday, “We need a holistic action plan to increase the efficiency of the administration of criminal justice. Police training and sensitization and modernization of the prison system are one facet of improving the administration of criminal justice:
He said that in the criminal justice system, the process is the punishment.
From indiscriminate arrest to the difficulty of obtaining bail, the process leading to the prolonged incarceration of those on trial requires urgent attention.
He said a serious problem affecting the criminal justice system is the high number of prisoners on trial. The CJI informed that out of 6.10 lakh prisoners in the country, almost 80% are on trial.
He said civil disputes, family disputes can be resolved through alternative methods, using the services of NALSA, Lok Adalats, mediation, and it can also reduce the burden on courts.
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