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11:12 PM | Sat, 03 Dec 2016

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35-day March for Judicial Reforms Flagged Off

308 Days ago
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NEW DELHI: A country-wide 'March for Justice', led by a group advocating judicial reforms, began today aiming to sensitise people about the need for time-bound disposal and reduction in backlog of cases, saying it is "crippling" the justice delivery system.        Participants in the march organised by a Mumbai-based trust 'Forum for Fast Justice', paid homage to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial at Raj Ghat before embarking on the 35-day trip that will see them criss-cross the country. The activists, comprising largely of social workers and lawyers, will cover around 170 districts as well as major towns across 22 states. The march, christened 'Nyay Yatra', will conclude on March 4 at Jantar Mantar.        Former Karnataka High Court Judge Justice G C Bharuka and Chairman of the Trust Bhagvanji Raiyani, who were present on the occasion, deplored the "lack of interest" on the part of the decision makers to expedite judicial reforms. "Marches such as this are needed as the decision makers are not taking any interest. The public is feeling helpless, as to whom do they approach regarding these pressing issues. The yatra should create public awareness and build pressure on the decision makers to do something positive," Bharuka said.     Raj Kachroo, who is part of the cause, said blaming the pendency of cases on the paucity of judges does not hold water as the situation in Delhi is "no better" than the national average despite the city having a large number of judges. "In fact, the pendency rates have doubled in Delhi over the years," Kachroo, founder of a nation-wide anti-ragging movement, said.     The yatris boarded four vehicles, plastered with catchy slogans like 'Justice delayed is justice denied'. Fitted with public announcement facilities, the activists aim to address corner rallies across the duration of the march from these buses. A network of over 100 centres of the 'Forum for Fast Justice' spread across the country would spearhead the movement. Bharuka, who is also a former acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, identified "delays" to be the main problem afflicting the judicial system in India, which he said can be "attended" to.         "The main reasons behind these delays include lack of proper management of courts and cases. If that area is taken up through the use of IT, all the grievances can be redressed. And, if more time is spared for judicial works, pendencies should come down significantly," he said.  Bharuka lamented that former Chief Justices "virtually have no interest" in these issues while the sitting ones can do a lot but they have little time. "There should be a continued commitment and that can help in this situation." Raiyani said the participants in the march are striving to take the message of "fair and fast" justice to the masses in hundreds of villages, towns and cities, connecting the whole country to the movement.   The Mumbai-based trust will hold a two-day Annual National Convention immediately after the conclusion of the march on March 4 at Jantar Mantar here where it plans to pass a resolution enunciating its demands.  "The copies of the resolution will be mailed to the President, Prime Minister, Law Minister, all Supreme Court and High Court judges, MPs, and Bar Council members with an ultimatum to initiate the reform process in right earnest within eight months or else to face a nation-wide Satyagraha based on Gandhian principles," Raiyani said.

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