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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 20.01.2013

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee participated in closing ceremony of the Sesquicentennial Celebrations of the High Court of Calcutta today (January 20, 2013).

Speaking on the occasion, the President said though Indian judiciary has preserved its pre-eminent place in Indian democracy, one area where

it has lagged behind is in not being able to fully meet the aspirations of the people and provide quick, speedy and accessible justice to those who knock at its doors. Much has been done but that is not enough. Our courts need to be urgently strengthened with additional resources. The filling of vacancies in courts across the country must be taken up as a priority by all concerned. The process of selection and appointment of judges should conform to the highest of standards and should be based on well established and transparent principles.

The President said the judicial system in our country should not only be accessible but also affordable. In order to address time consuming and expensive litigation, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation and arbitration should be encouraged. Further, there must be adequate provision for free legal aid. Greater efforts are also needed to spread legal literacy across the nation and improve the quality of legal education.

This release issued at 1845 hrs