Prez bats for judgements in regional languages, stresses on enhancing legal literary

CHENNAI: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said there was need to enhance legal literacy and simplify legal rules.
Delivering the Special Convocation address at the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University here, he said it was important to not only take justice to the people, but also to make it understandable to litigating parties in a language they know.
“Perhaps a system could be evolved whereby certified translated copies of judgements are made available by the High Courts in the local or regional language”, he said, which was seen as an
endorsement of Supreme Court’s similar views.
“I had made this suggestion in October 2017 while addressing the Valedictory Ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the High Court of Kerala in Koch”, he said.
“A few days later I visited Chhattisgarh, where I discussed this idea with the then Chief Justice of the High Court of Chhattisgarh Justice T B Radhakrishnan, who now is the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court. And within a few days, the High Court of Chhattisgarh implemented the suggestion, and since then litigants can avail translated copies of the judgments of the High Court of Chhattisgarh in Hindi”, he said.
“I am happy to learn that some other High Courts have also responded to the suggestion positively”, he said and added that the language of certified copies could be Malayalam in the Kerala High Court or Tamil in the Madras High Court, as the case may be.
Mr Kovind said the need to make the provision of justice speedier and affordable places a great responsibility on the lawyer community.
Observing that an advocate was a law officer of the court, the President said he or she has a responsibility to the client, but also a duty to assist the court in delivery of justice.
“Our legal system has a reputation for being expensive and for being prone to delays. There are some who tend to use and abuse the instrument of adjournments as a tactic to slow down proceedings, rather than a response to a genuine emergency”, he noted.
Noting that this makes obtaining justice costly for the litigant, Mr Kovind said “it will be a travesty of our republican ethic if a poor person did not get the same access to the law as a rich person.”
The legal profession must continue to address this collectively, he added.
“All those who serve in the legal profession, whether they are judges, lawyers, court officers and
even those teaching law, have a key responsibility in ensuring the primacy of rule of law.
Their work has an impact that was often wide and far-reaching. They were one of the crucial elements in the making of a just and fair society, Mr Kovind said and exuded confidence that
legal professionals would continue to discharge their responsibility while maintaining the highest standards of public ethics.
“Society expects nothing less than the best from them”, he added.
He also congratulated three eminent jurists—Justice Sathasivam, Justice Bobde and Justice Tahilramani—on being conferred LL.D. (Honoris Causa) degrees for their distinguished services
to law and justice.
“I am told that this is the first time in the country that a university is conferring LL.D (Honoris Causa) degrees on three jurists on the same occasion”, the President said.