Guwahati: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, while attending the diamond jubilee celebration of Bar Council of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim lauded it for various activities such as orientation programs for advocates, steps towards digitization of records, etc. Congratulating the Bar Council for having successfully completed 60 years of glorious existence, Sarma heaped praises on its performance of regulatory functions, raising the standard of practice in the profession of legal service.
Correlating with the celebration, a national seminar with subject ‘Role of Technology and in Facilitating Speedy Justice’ was also organised in the city on Saturday, which was graced by Union law & justice minister Kiren Rijiju, SC judges Surya Kant, Hrishikesh Roy, Sudhanshu Dhulia and Gauhati High Court chief justice RM Chhaya. Chhattisgarh High Court chief justice Arup Kumar Goswami, Telangana HC chief justice Ujjal Kumar Bhuyan, a number of judges and former judges, solicitor generalTushar Mehta, Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, Bar Council of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim chairman Gajanand Sahewalla and a host of other dignitaries were also present on the occassion.
Speaking on the long and illustrious history of India’s judicial system, Sarma lauded it for providing a robust foundation to the country’s democracy. He stated that the judiciary has always played a key role in upholding the rule of law and maintaining the fine balance of power among the pillars of Indian democracy. This has ensured the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens of India remained intact, he added.
Referring to the Vedas, Upanishads and other ancient texts, Sarma touched upon the subject of the rich tradition of law in the country since times immemorial. He credited the practitioners from various philosophical schools in ancient India for law & justice attaining a prominent position in the ancient period.
“No doubt the modern Indian judiciary is partly a continuation of the British-raj legal system,” stated Sarma adding, “However, one fact still holds ground that since time immemorial, our country had a well-developed system of administration of justice.” The ancient Indian law was based on principle of Dharma or Nyay that talked about the principle of natural justice. It is the same principle that continues to govern Indian judicial system even today, he asserted.
Referring the judiciary as the saviour of Indian democracy, Sarma stated that its landmark judgments on subjects such as basic structure, among others, saved the Constitution from losing its spirit. He praised the judiciary for protecting rights of Indian women, while at the same time upholding their dignity through landmark judgments on subjects like triple talaq, daughter’s right to property, etc. Terming the judiciary, a great arbitrator, Sarma said the landmark judgment in the Ram Janambhoomi case in 2019 addressed the claims of all stakeholders and settled this long-standing issue in the most remarkable and amicable manner.
Terming the lawyers as one of the most important components of the judicial system, Sarma described them as a bridge that connects the judicial system with the people seeking justice. If court is a temple of justice, the lawyers play the role of priests in this temple, he added. Appealing to the advocates to be icons of dedication, honesty and kindness, Sarma requested them to hone their professional skills so as to advance themselves strongly in the workplace.
Speaking about the need to expedite the justice delivery mechanism, Sarma commented that many people, despite being victims of circumstances, hesitate to seek legal help, as chasing justice often becomes an expensive affair, owing to the long process involved with it. He called upon the office bearers of the Bar Council to find out as to how it can play its role to help the weak and underprivileged.
On various initiatives of the State government, Sarma disclosed that around 100 new positions would be created in lower judiciary, which should be a step towards faster dispensing of justice in Assam. He also added that of the ₹ 9,000 crore approved by the Centre for improvement of judicial infrastructure, the judiciary in Assam would receive around ₹300 crore as its share. In addition to that, the State government would provide another ₹300 crore. Sarma stated that the government is contemplating various welfare schemes for those who retire from active practicing. Earlier, Sarma attended the inaugural ceremony of Guwahati High Court Museum, built at the old block of the high court premises, which showcases various items like a handwritten copy of the Constitution, robes, wigs of retired judges, litho-machine, etc.