The Chief Justice’s comments come a day after all the four accused in the rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian last week in Telangana last week were killed in an encounter with the police.
Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Saturday said that the justice system must reconsider its attitude towards laxity in disposing criminal matters and that the judiciary must be aware of the changes and perception about itself.
“Recent events in country have sparked off the old debate with new vigour. There is no doubt that criminal justice system must reconsider its position and attitude towards laxity and eventual time it takes to dispose off criminal matters,” Justice Bobde said at a function at the Rajasthan High Court, according to PTI.
Amid India’s massive backlog of cases pending in courts, Justice Bobde said the judiciary must remain committed to making justice accessible to people by strengthening the existing avenues and evolving newer means for affordable, quick and satisfactory settlement of disputes and also invoke self-correcting measures.
“Justice is never ought to be instant. Justice must never ever take the form of revenge. I believe justice loses its character when it becomes revenge. There is a need in the judiciary to invoke self-correcting measures but whether or not they should be publicised is a matter of debate,” he said.
He also advocated making pre-litigation mediation compulsory that could help avoid litigation altogether.
“We have to devise methods for not only speeding up litigation but all together preventing it. There are laws which provide for pre-litigation mediation,” he said.
Justice Bobe who took over as the CJI last month also referred to the unprecedented
press conference held by four senior most judges of the Supreme Court last year and described it as “a self-corrective measure”. On January 12, 2018, Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurien Joseph — had held a press conference, saying the situation in the top court was “not in order” and many “less than desirable” things had taken place. Later in the year, Gogoi succeeded the then CJI India Dipak Mishra.
“I believe the institution (judiciary) must correct itself and indeed it did during the time when the much-criticised press conference was held. It was nothing more than a self-corrective measure and I do not wish to justify it,” Justice Bobde said.