Sat, 03 Jun 2023

By Payal MehtaNew Delhi [India], March 23 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sushil Modi-led Standing Committee for Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice on Thursday conducted a field visit to the Supreme Court of India.

During its informal interaction on the court premises, the panel interacted with the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and other judges.

"It was a detailed discussion that went on for over two hours and the CJI sat graciously through the entire meeting," a source told ANI.

The agenda of the meeting was the functioning of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and how to expand its horizon further for the welfare of the common man.

NALSA provides free legal services to the weaker sections of society and organises Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes. The CJI is the patron of NALSA whereas Justice Kaul is its executive chairperson.

Several suggestions were given by MPs from the panel for better outreach of the initiatives of NALSA including more publicity in print and electronic media, to make the common man aware of the legal aid available to them," the source said, adding that the suggestions were welcomed by the CJI.

"While speaking on the issue, one of the important observations made by CJI Chandrachud was to see the possibility of an audit on how many disabled are able to get access to NALSA services," the source said further.

Another source said that during the course of the discussion, it came to the fore that sometimes several cases add a burden to the apex court in the country.

It is learnt that MPs present were told that several cases, including family disputes, and motor insurance claims, for example added burden to the apex court. "In some cases divorce cases ran upto 10 years and claims of even a lakh of rupees for motor insurance, saw cases for years together," the source said.

During the interaction, there was also a discussion on the possible ways to lessen the burden of under trials, who have been languishing in jail for a long time, even without being able to get justice from a court of law.

As per the records, the number of under trials, cutting across jails in the country comprises 75 per cent of the total jailed.

Speedy trials and release of those who have spent more than half of the sentence in jail, if not charged with a heinous crime, were some of the measures suggested during the meeting.

"The process of mediation must evolve and be encouraged so that a lot of matters can be settled faster was also discussed during the course of the meeting," a source said.

Today was not the first interaction of the panel with the top judges.

Former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Modi, had earlier organised an interaction with the then CJI NV Ramanna and also a couple of interactions with Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, making it a novel approach.

Besides the chairman, the members of the panel, who attended today's meeting included Mahesh Jethmalani, Vandana Chavan, Vivek Tankha, K Ravindra Kumar and Raghu Ramakrishna Raju. (ANI)

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