Chennai: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said there was a need to enhance legal literacy and simplify legal rules.
Delivering a special convocation address of the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University here, he said that it is 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," Kovind said adding that he had made this suggestion in October 2017 while addressing the Valedictory Ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the High Court of Kerala in Kochi.
The President said he had visited Chhattisgarh and discussed the 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.
"Since then litigants can avail translated copies of the judgments of the High Court of Chhattisgarh in Hindi. I am happy to learn that some other High Courts have also responded to the suggestion positively. 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," Kovind said.
The President said the need to make the provision of justice speedier and affordable places a great responsibility on the lawyer community.
An advocate 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. This makes obtaining justice costly for the litigant. It would 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," Kovind said.
The President conferred LL.D. (Honoris Causa) degrees on three eminent jurists -Justice (Retd) P. Sathasivam, former Chief Justice of India and currently Governor of Kerala; Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Judge of the Supreme Court of India; and Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani, Chief Justice of the Madras High Court - at the convocation.