Amritsar, March 24, : Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Vijender Jain has said that the Indian Judicial System is the most independent and fair judicial system in the world.
Speaking during the 2nd Annual Convocation of Khalsa College, Chief Justice Jain said: "Judicial System of India is the strongest pillar of our democracy."
"Each person or party is free to file any case at any point of time but the Judiciary gives decision solely on the basis of witnesses and evidences," said Justice Vijender Jain while addressing college students during the convocation programme.
When asked about the huge number of pending court cases in Punjab, Chief Justice Jain said that nearly six lakh (600,000) cases were pending in various courts of Punjab and there were 280 Judicial Officers to cater to them.
"In America, there are 117 Judicial Officers for one million population, in the U.K and 80 Judicial Officers for the same population and in India just 17 officers, so the delay is inevitable," said Justice Vijender Jain.
"Hon'ble Supreme Court is fully abreast of the situation and to deliver speedy and cost-effective justice, the Supreme Court of India has directed to initiate Permanent Recruitment Policy for Judicial Officers, As per this policy new Judicial posts and supporting infrastructure is to be provided by the State Governments," he said.
Talking about the state of affairs in Punjab, Chief Justice Jain stated that the political parties in Punjab were not interfering and could not interfere with the working of the Judiciary.
Lauding the role of Punjab government, Justice Jain said that Punjab Government had given rupees Rs. 35 crore (350 million rupees) for the same. Another rupees 10 crore (100 million rupees) have been provided by the Central Government. So, in the days to come, ample Judicial Officers would be recruited.
Thirty-seven judicial officers were recruited last year and 49 others would be recruited in March 2008. These officials will undergo training at Judicial Academy and as and when they are absorbed in the mechanism, the results would be seen and felt by all, Justice Jain told the media persons.
He informed that he had directed all the courts of Punjab and Haryana to settle the criminal cases pending for ten years or more within a year. All the criminal cases pending for five years are to be settled in the next two years.
"Haryana has already cleared criminal cases pending for over 10 years, and hopefully, Punjab will also clear the backlog by August, 2008," the Chief Justice hoped.
Earlier, Justice Vijender Jain conferred degrees upon 392 students of Post Graduate and professional degree classes.
In his convocation address, Justice Jain advised students to receive their degrees with a sense of pride but use it as a stepping stone for further achievements.
"Degree should carry with it a sense of responsibility to make you humble law abiding citizens," he said.
Lauding the role of Khalsa College in the field of education, Justice Jain said that Khalsa College is the epitome of learning since1892 and has carved a niche for itself in the field of progressive education. It has a track record of being the Alma Mater of scores of sportsmen of International and National repute.
Also present on the occasion was Punjab's Advocate General H.S. Mattewal who asked the students to follow the path of secularism and shun all differences of caste and creed.