Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Chief Justice of India
N V Ramana unveils a stamp during the inaugural session of First All India District Legal Services Authorities Meet, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, on Saturday. Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju is also seen. (PTI)
NEW DELHI :
EASE of justice was equally important as ease of living as India celebrates the 75th year of its Independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday as he urged the judiciary to expedite the release of undertrials languishing in various jails. Addressing the first All India District Legal Services Authorities Meet here, Modi said citizens have immense faith in the judiciary and access to the judicial system is equally important as the delivery of justice for any society. “This is the time of ‘Azadi ke Amrit Kaal’.
This is the time for the resolutions that will take the country to new heights in the next 25 years. Like Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Living, Ease of Justice is equally important in this Amrit Yatra of the country,” he said at the conference, which was also attended by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana. The Supreme Court has spoken on several occasions on the need to be sensitive towards the humanitarian issue of undertrial prisoners, he said and added that the District Legal Services Authorities (DLSAs) can take up the responsibility of providing legal aid to such prisoners. The District Judges, as Chairpersons of undertrial review committees, can expedite the release of undertrial prisoners, the Prime Minister said. Lauding the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) for undertaking a campaign for the release of undertrial prisoners,he urged the Bar Council to encourage more lawyers to get involved in this campaign. According to the ‘Prison Statistics India’ report published by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2020, there were 4,88,511 prison inmates of which 76 per cent or 3,71,848 were undertrials. Highlighting the place of legal aid in the Directive Principles of the State Policy, Modi said this importance is reflected in the faith of the citizens in the Judiciary of the country.
“As important as access to the judicial system is for any society, justice delivery is equally important. The judicial infrastructure also has an important contribution to this. In the last eight years, work has been done at a fast pace to strengthen the judicial infrastructure of the country. Underlining India’s leadership in information technology and fintech, the Prime Minister stressed that there cannot be a better time to introduce more power of technology to judicial proceedings. “Under the e-Courts Mission, virtual courts are being started in the country. Courts have started functioning round the clock for crimes like traffic violations. Video conferencing infrastructure is also being expanded in the courts for the convenience of the people,” he said.