Appointment of 11 SC, 224 HC judges reflection of judges’ determination to strengthen judiciary: CJI
New Delhi, Aug 26 PTI Chief Justice of India CJI N V Ramana Friday said the appointment of 11 Supreme Court and 224 high court judges, besides recommending names of more women for the judgeship during his tenure as the head of the judiciary, was a reflection of the coherence and determination of judges to strengthen the judiciary to further the goal of justice.
New Delhi, Aug 26 (PTI) Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana Friday said the appointment of 11 Supreme Court and 224 high court judges, besides recommending names of more women for the judgeship during his tenure as the head of the judiciary, was a reflection of "the coherence and determination" of judges to strengthen the judiciary to further the goal of justice. Observing that the judiciary has "fallen short of people's expectations" at times, the outgoing CJI said the jurisprudence has evolved considerably in the last 675 years, and "Our judiciary is not defined by a single order or decision...most of the times, it has championed the cause of the people." Justice Ramana, the 48th CJI who had succeeded S A Bobde on April 24, 2021, was delivering his address at a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to bid him adieu on completion of his over 16-month-long tenure as head of the judiciary and thanked his colleagues in the collegiums and consulting judges for being able to recommend so many names for judgeships.
"I am happy to inform you that thanks to my collegium judges and consulting judges, in the last 16 months, we could appoint 11 judges to the Apex Court, and out of the 255 recommended for the various High Courts, 224 Judges are already appointed.
"This amounts to nearly 20 per cent of the total sanctioned strength of the High Courts. Due to our concerted efforts, we could make considerable progress in appointing more women judges and promoting social diversity on the Bench. We got 15 new Chief Justices for various High Courts during the same period. This process is a reflection of the coherence and determination of the Judges to strengthen our institution, to further the goal of justice," the CJI, who spoke for almost half an hour, said.
Justice Ramana, who served as a judge for over two decades in the higher judiciary, expressed satisfaction over his journey and said that he never claimed himself to be "a scholarly judge or a great judge", but always believed that the ultimate purpose of the justice delivery system is to provide justice to the common man.
On his retirement day, the CJI hinted toward the malicious campaign aimed at him and his family also just before his elevation to the top post.
"From the date, I joined the bench till I reached the highest possible position in the judiciary, I was subjected to conspiratorial scrutiny. My family and I suffered in silence. But ultimately, the truth will always prevail. 'Satyameva Jayate'," he said. The CJI referred to the packed auditorium and the good words spoken about him by CJI-designate Justice U U Lalit, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and SCBA president Vikas Singh and other Bar leaders and said that he was searching for words to adequately express his gratitude.
On the issue of the Indianisation of the legal system, he said the judicial system, practices, rules, being colonial in origin, may not be best suited to the needs of the Indian population.
"I mean the need to adapt to the practical realities of our society and localise our justice delivery system. I have pushed for the modernisation of judicial infrastructure as a means for providing access to justice," he said.
He said the problems faced by the judiciary cannot be looked at in isolation.
"The judiciary is independent when it comes to adjudication of cases, but with respect to finances or appointments, it is still dependent on the Government. To coordinate and get cooperation from the Government, interaction is inevitable. But interaction does not mean influence. I hope this dialogue between the judiciary and the public will continue," he said.
He told the audience about the idea behind his weekend travels to the courts across the country and said, "I felt it was my Constitutional duty to dispel these notions and bring the Court closer to the people, by way of generating awareness and building confidence among people about the judiciary." The popular perception is that the Indian judiciary was "alien and quite distant" to the general public and there are still millions with suppressed judicial needs who are apprehensive to approach the judiciary in times of need, he said.
"My experience so far has convinced me that in spite of fulfilling its Constitutional mandate, the judiciary does not find adequate reflections in the media, thereby depriving the people of knowledge about the Courts and the Constitution," he said, adding that he has tried to promote a "sense of belongingness of the people with the system".
"I am demitting my office with utmost contentment. When you ultimately judge me as a Judge, I would like to say that I may be judged as a very ordinary Judge, but one who greatly relished and enjoyed the job," he said.
''I may be judged as one who meticulously followed the rules of the game and did not trespass into forbidden provinces,'' he said.
"As a Judge, I always wanted my name to be etched on the hearts of the people through my conduct and behaviour, rather than case law and journals," he said.
He thanked the media for being "extremely cooperative" in disseminating the information about the judiciary.
"You share the equal burden of dispelling myths and notions. I thank you for being an active partner in this collaborative project of strengthening the judiciary. I thank each one of the journalists who have been covering the proceedings of the Supreme Court diligently, efficiently, and instantly," he said.
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