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Stressing the need for extending legal aid and services to the needy and poor in the country, Supreme Court Chief Justice T S Thakur today exhorted the legal fraternity to rededicate themselves to serve large chunk of the society.

Addressing 14th All India Meet of State Legal Services Authorities at Park Hayat here, Justice Thakur expressed concern over the number of pending cases rising to three crore across the courts in the country. He exhorted the law practitioners to take on challenges of cases being multiplied and increasing manifold by being true, deliberate and evolve strategies to serve the needy. Admitting that the judicial system was under pressure and getting justice is fundamental right of every citizen, Justice Thakur asked the Centre to make Constitutional amendments in four to six weeks to help the judiciary to boost their plan to settle two crore cases in one year or so.

Justice Thakur pointed out that unorganized sector has about 46 crore workers, including 14 crore women, most of whom either unaware of legal services and Lok Adalat functioning are not receiving justice or fruits of the schemes being implemented by the government. He hoped that the Centre would take steps to fill 450 judges’ vacant posts which may rise to 500 very soon and help the judiciary along with Lok Adalat services to clear the cases. The CJI asserted the need for expansion of legal services to the grass root level besides creating awareness among the poor and introduction of legal studies in educational institutions in States as that of Haryana and Gujarat. The CJI launched official website and Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda unveiled mobile App of State Legal Services authorities.

In his key-note address, Justice Anil R Dave asked the advocates to help the tribals fighting for justice before they approach them. He also said Lok Adalats have been playing key role and cleared 62 lakh cases recently. He received Rs 57 crore cheque towards clearance of land deals and disputes from Singareni Collieries Chairman & Managing Director Sridhar. Justice N V Ramana favoured legal services to reach the needy, downtrodden and their expansion for the poor welfare. Indeed Lok Adalats, which are catering to the needs of poor, should improve their services, he added.

Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda said two thirds of jail inmates were under-trials and needed speedy justice. “Let them not languish in jails as the Centre was firm on helping them. Judiciary strengthens its mechanism”, Gowda said, adding that Rs 140 crore allotted for judiciary to equip and ready to fund for training for legal practitioners for speedy disposal of the cases

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