A day after Chief Justice J S Khehar expressed concern over judicial work being affected by the shortage of judges, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday hoped that concerns regarding appointments and infrastructure would be addressed expeditiously.
“I can tell you now that with the leadership of Justice Khehar as the new Chief Justice, we will be able to work together in a very meaningful way to address the concerns in judiciary, to expedite appointments, to ensure people of merit are appointed and also overall reinforce infrastructure needed for justice delivery,” he said at a conference on judicial reforms here.
“We have made 126 appointments, the highest since 1990, and in high courts about 131 additional judges have been confirmed,” Prasad said a day after Justice Khehar said the shortfall in the number of judges was affecting work in the apex court. The Minister said “in terms of fundamental duties, justice delivery is integral to good governance. Therefore, justice delivery has to be faster, expeditious and also to be delivered in the spirit of integrity and accountability.”
Referring to his fight against Emergency as a student activist, Prasad said the government was led by those who had participated in that movement.
“All of us were student activists who fought against emergency and we fought for three freedoms - of the individual, media and judicial freedom. Therefore, this government is led by leaders who have fought for freedom of judiciary,” he said.
He was speaking at the conference which was also attended by former Chief Justice M N Venkatachaliah, Congress MP Karan Singh and former secretary of Supreme Court Bar Association Ashok Arora among other political, legal and economic experts.
Maintaining that India was “an undertaxed country”, Prasad said only 3.7 crore people in the country pay tax.
Money is needed to provide the Army with best weapons for training, for startups, for healthcare and educational infrastructure.
“Do we not need the Indian Army to be well equipped with all the best weapons in training? For this we need money,” adding that money was also needed to fund start-ups in the country and best infrastructure in healthcare and education
“In the kitty of the Finance Minister, there is hardly Rs 4,70,000 crore for development, the rest are the standard part of the budget,” the Minister said.