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azadi ka amrit mahotsav

English rendering of PM’s address at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Supreme Court of India

Posted On: 28 JAN 2024 3:14PM by PIB Delhi

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud ji, Judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justices of various High Courts, our guest Judges from foreign countries, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal ji, Attorney General Venkataramani ji, Bar Council Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra ji, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Dr. Adish Aggarwala ji, other dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen!

Two days ago, the Constitution of India entered its 75th year. Today also marks the commencement of the 75th year of the Supreme Court of India. It is indeed a pleasure to be present amidst you all on this historic occasion, and I extend my best wishes to all jurists.

Friends,

The framers of Bharat's Constitution envisioned an independent Bharat based on the principles of freedom, equality, and justice. The Supreme Court of India has steadfastly endeavoured to uphold these principles. Whether it is the freedom of expression, personal liberty, or social justice, the Supreme Court has consistently fortified Bharat's vibrant democracy. Over the course of more than seven decades, the Supreme Court has delivered numerous pivotal decisions on individual rights and freedom of speech, significantly influencing the socio-political landscape of the country.

Friends,

Presently, every institution and organization in Bharat, be it the executive or the legislature, is working with the objectives of the next 25 years in mind. This forward-thinking approach is driving major reforms in the country. Today's economic policies will shape the bright Bharat of tomorrow, and the laws being enacted today will fortify the bright future of our nation. In the changing global landscape, all eyes are on Bharat, and the trust in Bharat is growing worldwide. In this scenario, it is crucial for Bharat to seize every opportunity and not let any slip away. Today, Bharat's priorities include Ease of Living, Ease of Doing Business, Ease of Travel, Ease of Communication, and, importantly, Ease of Justice. Every citizen of Bharat is entitled to Ease of Justice, and the Supreme Court serves as the primary means for achieving this.

Friends,

The entire justice system of the country relies on the guidelines and guidance provided by the Supreme Court. It is our duty to ensure that this court is accessible to every corner of Bharat so that the needs of every Indian can be met. With this objective, the third phase of the E-Court Mission Project has recently received approval, with four times more funds allocated than the second phase. This is the subject of your interest; you may applaud. I can understand that it was a challenging task for you, Shri Manan Mishra. I appreciate the fact that Chief Justice Chandrachud himself is monitoring the digitization of courts across the country. I congratulate him for his efforts towards Ease of Justice.

Friends,

Our government is committed to enhancing the physical infrastructure in the courts. Since 2014, over Rs 7 thousand crore has been allocated for this purpose. I am cognizant of the challenges experienced by all of you in the current Supreme Court building. Just last week, the government sanctioned a sum of Rs 800 crore for the expansion of the Supreme Court building complex. I hope that no objections will be raised against it, akin to some criticisms faced by the new Parliament House, deeming it wasteful expenditure.

Friends,

Today, you have also given me the opportunity to unveil some Digital Initiatives of the Supreme Court. The introduction of Digital Supreme Court Reports means that decisions of the Supreme Court will now be accessible in a digital format as well. I was pleased to observe that the process of translating the Supreme Court's decisions into local languages has also commenced. I trust that such a system will soon be implemented in other courts across the country.

Friends,

This event itself exemplifies how technology can contribute to the Ease of Justice today. The speech I am delivering is currently being translated into English using AI, and some of you are also listening to it through the Bhashini app. While there may be some initial challenges, this highlights the remarkable capabilities of technology. Utilizing similar technology in our courts can simplify the lives of ordinary citizens. You may recall that some time ago, I emphasized the need to draft laws in simplified language. I believe that rendering court orders in simplified language will prove more beneficial for the general public.

Friends,

It is equally crucial to infuse the same essence of Indianness and modernity into our laws during the 'Amrit kaal'. The government is actively working on modernizing laws in accordance with current circumstances and best practices. By repealing outdated colonial criminal laws, the government has introduced the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Acts. Due to these changes, our Legal, Policing and Investigative Systems have entered a new era, bringing a massive transformation. It is imperative that we smoothly transition from archaic laws to new ones. To facilitate this, the training and capacity building of government employees have already commenced. I would urge the Supreme Court to take a leading role in such capacity building initiatives for all stakeholders.

Friends,

A robust judicial system serves as the cornerstone for building a developed Bharat. The government consistently makes decisions to establish a reliable system, and the Jan Vishwas Bill is a significant step in this direction. This measure aims to alleviate unnecessary burdens on the justice system in the future and reduce the backlog of pending cases. It is noteworthy that the government has also instituted provisions for the Law of Mediation for Alternative Dispute Resolution, thereby alleviating the burden on our judiciary, especially the subordinate judiciary.

Friends,

Achieving the goal of building a developed Bharat by 2047 requires collective efforts from everyone. The Supreme Court's role in the next 25 years will undoubtedly play a crucial and positive part in this journey. Once again, I express my gratitude for the invitation extended to me. I would like to draw attention to an aspect concerning the Padma Awards this year. We conferred the Padma Bhushan upon Fatima Ji, a retired Supreme Court judge and the first Muslim Supreme Court judge of Asia. This achievement fills me with immense pride. Once again, I congratulate the Supreme Court on its Diamond Jubilee.

Thank you very much.

 

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.

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DS/VJ/IG/AK



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