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Need to have more OBC, SC, ST judges: President Kovind

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President Ram Nath Kovind raises concern over low number of women judges as well, calls for speedy justice delivery.

New Delhi: Raising his concern over the low representation of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and OBCs in the judiciary, President Ram Nath Kovind Saturday urged it to address the imbalance without compromising on quality.

“Like our other public institutions, our judiciary too has to be judicious in being representative of the diversity of our country and breadth and depth of our society,” he said after inaugurating a two-day conference in the capital to mark National Law Day.

Kovind, India’s second Dalit President, also stressed on the need to increase the number of women judges as there are only 4,700 women judges of the total 17,000 in India.

He said judges from lower courts should be properly groomed so that more and more of them can graduate to the high courts.

“This is the sacred duty of the highest judiciary to groom district and sessions court judges and raise their skills. This will also enhance trust in our lower courts and their judgments as well as serve to declog our high courts,” Kovind added.

He touched upon the need for speedy justice and to abolish the culture of adjournments.

“It is a paradox that the poor are shying away from judicial process due to unnecessary delay and the influential people are using it as a tool to delay cases. Perhaps the time has come to give a thought to the adjournments,” he said.

Kovind lauded the government’s efforts to get rid of 1,200 obsolete laws in the past three years and expressed happiness with the work being done to update the regulatory and legal framework in accordance with time.

The President advised the judiciary to showcase conduct of the highest order, without making any reference to the recent courtroom drama over a corruption case involving a former Odisha High Court judge.

“Public life today is a glass house. There is a relentless demand for transparency and scrutiny. Our legal fraternity needs to be mindful of these legitimate urges of the people, the ultimate masters in the democracy,” he added.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan also addressed the conference.

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