One should be mindful of ‘Lakshman Rekha’: CJI Ramana at event with PM Modi, CMs

NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana on Saturday said the Constitution of India provides separation of power among the three organs of the state and while discharging duty, one should be mindful of the ‘Lakshman Rekha’.
CJI Ramana was speaking at the Joint Conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts.
Reminding the state’s three organs — executive, legislature and judiciary — to be “mindful of the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ while discharging their duties”, he assured governments that “the judiciary would never come in the way of governance, if it is in accordance with law”.
“We share your anxiety and concern regarding the welfare of the people,” Justice Ramana said.
Ramana said that deliberate inaction by governments despite judicial pronouncements is not good for the health of democracy.

‘PILs turning into Personal Interest Litigation’
CJI Ramana also voiced concerns over the misuse of Public Interest Litigations (PIL), saying they are turning into “Personal Interest Litigation” and are being used to settle personal scores.
“The rising number of frivolous litigations is an area of concern. For example, the well-meaning concept of public interest litigation is at times turning into personal interest litigation. No doubt, PIL has served a lot of public interest. However, it is sometimes being misused to stall projects or pressurise public authorities.
He said that PIL has become a tool for those who want to settle political scores or corporate rivalry. “Realising the potential for misuse, courts are now highly cautious in entertaining the same,” he added.
‘Legal education should also be available in mother tongue’
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who inaugurated the joint conference, urged the chief ministers and chief justices of high courts to examine cases of nearly 3.5 lakh undertrial prisoners across India and see whether they could be released on bail.
PM Modi said that the deliberations will help lay the path for judiciary to give common citizens speedy and time bound justice.
Exhorting the use of local languages, PM Modi said that legal education should not just be taught in English but in the mother tongue of people.
He added that efforts were being made to simplify the language of legislation so that a common man would be able to understand the law.
“Why should it be in English only? I am happy the CJI is making efforts to use local language in courts so that litigants would understand what is happening in his case,”.
He further added that the government was doing its best to improve the judicial system and upgrade the judicial infrastructure.
Reflecting similar views, CJI Ramana said that the time has come for the legal system to introduce local languages in courts.
“The judiciary, as well as every other institution of our democracy, must mirror the social and geographical diversity of the country. I am receiving many representations for introducing local languages in proceedings before high courts,” he said.
“I think the time has come now to revisit the demand and take it to a logical conclusion. The practice of law before Constitutional courts should be based on one’s intelligence and understanding of law and not mere proficiency in language,” the CJI said.
(With inputs from agencies)