Stating that the pendency of cases is a challenge before the judiciary, outgoing Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Friday rued that he “could not pay requisite attention to” the vexed issue of the listing of cases.
“I must admit that listing of issues and posting is one of the areas on which I could not pay requisite attention. I am sorry for that”, the CJI, who is set to retire Friday, said presiding over a ceremonial bench in his court.
Explaining the reasons, he said, “We are busy in fire fighting on all the days. On a day-to-day basis, we work. All sides are equally contributors to this problem”.
CJI Ramana said the only way out was to reform the functioning of the system. “We need to deploy modern technology tools and artificial intelligence to find a lasting solution,” he said.
He also said that though the court “tried developing some modules, because of the compatibility and security issues, we could not make much progress. Due to Covid emergency, the priority was the running of the courts”.
The CJI said that “unlike commercial establishments, we cannot secure the technological tools from the market directly. Needs of the judiciary are different from those of the rest…Then there is inherent resistance to all things new. Unless the Bar is willing to extend their whole-hearted cooperation, it will be difficult to bring in necessary changes”. “We have to evolve and march forward in tune with changing times,” he added.
“Unfortunately, during the past 16 months, my tenure as CJI, full-fledged hearing was possible only about 50 days,” said CJI Ramana.
He said he was demitting office after being part of the judiciary for 22 years “with utmost content” and added that he had done his bit for the judiciary to the best of his ability.
“People may come and go, but the institution remains forever. Of course, each one has to make our own contribution. I have done my bit to the best of my ability”, said CJI Ramana.