New Delhi Mere allocation of funds is not enough to improve the judicial infrastructure, which is not even meeting the basic minimum standards, Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana said on Saturday while also reiterating the need to fill vacancies and appoint more judges on an “urgent basis”.
While speaking at the National Seminar on Adjudication of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Disputes in India, CJI Ramana said that his efforts towards pursuing the Union government for setting up of statutory authorities at the Centre and states have “unfortunately” not been fruitful.
“Judicial infrastructure needs to be improved. Unfortunately, we are not even meeting the basic minimum standards in this area. It has been my endeavour since assuming the office of CJI, to put in place an institutional mechanism to coordinate and oversee the improvement of judicial infrastructure…
“Mere allocation of funds is not enough. The challenge is to put the available resources to optimum use. I have been pursuing the government for setting up statutory authorities, both at the Centre and at the states. But unfortunately…,” Ramana said.
The CJI emphasised the need for continuous training and upgradation of skills, which is one of the major challenges before the Indian judiciary.
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create.
Asserting that the Indian judiciary is absolutely independent and always treats all the parties equally and equitably, CJI Ramana said that the IPR jurisdiction has been vested back to the high court at a time when the judiciary is already overburdened with the backlog.
He, however, said that these new challenges can be effectively met by strengthening the high courts.
“The vesting of the IPR jurisdiction back in the high court comes at a time when the judiciary is already overburdened with the backlog. However, this would not deter us from rising to the occasion and putting in place systems which may be required to deal with the new regime. It is an appropriate moment to build sufficient capacities in our high courts, so that intellectual property litigation can be conducted efficiently and smoothly,” Ramana said.
While CJI Ramana was the chief guest, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman was the guest of honour. Besides, judges of the Supreme Court, the Delhi high court, various other high courts and district courts, advocates and bureaucrats were also present on the occasion.