Access to justice to large section remains illusory: CJI

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Gulbarga, Karnataka, Jul 5 (UNI) Chief Justice of India (CJI) K G Balakrishnan today expressed regret over the fact that access to justice to protect fundamental rights remained illusory for a large section of the community, due to poverty, ignorance and illiteracy.

Speaking after inaugurating the High Court Circuit Bench Building here, Mr Justice Balakrishnan said though the Constitution had shown great concern for the underprivileged, the majority of people were not able to get justice as the court itself was far away from their doorsteps.

The Apex Court had also realised that one of the drawbacks of the justice delivery system had been the denial of access to justice to the commonman, he said.

Recollecting a Supreme Court Judgment, the CJI added the court reasoned lack of legislative thinking, executive inaction coupled with exploitation of the masses by the opportuned few made the judiciary raise to the occasion and extend its helping hand to at least some of the needy to bring justice within their reach.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) thus paved the way for development of human rights jurisprudence in India during the last two decades.

Though PIL was, to some extent, tried to be abused by some vested interests, this epistolary jurisdiction helped many poor people.

Although the public had great expectations from law and judicial system, very few were able to make use of the system for various reason.

''Procedural technicalities, undue delay and unnessary expenses induce people to keep away from the court,'' he deplored.

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