Nagpur, Jul 13: Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has said that Public Interest Litigations (PILs) were a boon for society, but care must be taken to avoid misuse.
Speaking at the inauguration of State-level lawyers' convention here last evening, Mr Balakrishnan said it was because of PILs that nearly 1,300 hazardous industries were shifted outside Delhi.Similarly, the mid-day meal scheme in schools was the result of a PIL, he added.
However, the judiciary must ensure that the avenue of PIL was not misused to serve vested interests, Mr Balakrishnan said. All such litigations must not be assessed with the same yardstick, because every PIL was not frivolous, he also said.
Mr Balakrishnan called upon police to make use of scientific methods of investigation to speed up the disposal of criminal cases.
Expressing concern at the delay in the disposal of cases, the CJI said the judiciary must ensure that the people's confidence in it remained intact.
Addressing the gathering, Supreme Court Judge Vikas Sirpurkar said lawyers must prepare themselves for new challenges in the age of globalisation. Foreign lawyers might start practising in India, but Indian lawyers must make themselves competent to face the challenge, he said.
Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Swatanter Kumar said it was the responsibility of the bar and the bench to maintain the sanctity of the judiciary. 'Media trials' of highly publicised criminal cases had led to a conflict between the right to free speech and the right of the accused to a fair trial, he added.