Breaking News Justice Raveendran’s judgments connect with today’s Indian context...

Justice Raveendran’s judgments connect with today’s Indian context and its people, CJI unveils his book ‘Anomalies of Law and Justice’

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New Delhi, Jun 26 (ILNS) The Chief Justice of India NV Ramana today launched the book ‘Anomalies of Law and Justice’ authored by Justice RV Raveendran and said, through this book, the author undertakes to explain in simple terms, various deficiencies in the law which require to be overcome, so that the common man does not lose faith in the judiciary and the legal system.  

While Launching the book through a webinar , the CJI said, “ Law and Justice is an attempt to explain to the lay man that the law and the legal system is still evolving and it requires  more critical thinking to resolve issues which have persisted in the system for a long time. The book was launched on an E-platform followed by a panel discussion by the legal luminaries.  

Apart from the CJI, and Justice Raveendran , former CJI’s Justice M N Venkatachallaiah and Justice R.S Lahoti, and former Supreme Court Judge Justice BN Srikrishna were present at the panel discussion which was Moderated by Senior Counsel Arvind Datar.

During the course of the panel discussion that followed the launch of the book, Justice Ramana said that the matter of internet connectivity figured prominently in the two-day conference of Chief Justices of High Courts held recently. The CJI expressed concern that the poor connectivity in rural, tribal, remote and hilly areas is adversely impacting the pace of justice delivery system and is also depriving thousands of young lawyers across the country of their livelihood. A whole generation of lawyers is being pushed out of the system due to digital divide, the CJI said.

Justice Ramana informed that he recently wrote to the Minister of Law, Communications and IT highlighting these issues and requested him to initiate steps on priority basis, to bridge the digital divide and also to evolve a mechanism to help the advocates who lost their livelihood due to pandemic and who are in dire need of financial assistance. The need to declare the legal professionals and associated functionaries as frontline workers and the need to vaccinate them all on priority was also highlighted by the CJI in the said communication addressed to the Minister In charge.

Praising Justice Raveendran’s judicial wisdom, the CJI said, he is an amalgam of  unwavering commitment to rule of law, strong believer in the  independence of judiciary, having a deep sense of morality and scholarship par excellence. His tireless work towards reforming our judiciary has been critical in shaping the jurisprudence.

He came from a humble background, with no family pedigree in the profession. Trained under S. G. Sundaraswamy, a doyen of  the Karnataka Bar, Justice Raveendran has the ability to relate  to people and issues around him, the CJI said.

Justice Raveendran’s  judgments are of great value, not because they are replete with  western jurisprudence or are rich in legal jargon, but because  of their connect with today’s Indian context and its people.  Judgeship was never an office for him. He never tried, or made  an attempt, to project himself as the saviour of the judicial  process. He continued to be humble and believed that the office which he held did not exist for himself. He discharged his duties  with distinction and commitment to the people.

He believed in  the dictum, as Lord Denning said, “that the best judge is one who is less known and  seen in the media”.  He exemplifies all that is great about our institution. I have always been a great  admirer of his judgments which are of simple language,  intelligible and clear to the common man. Through his  judgments, he has set a standard of excellence which  demonstrates that law can be a force in society, to bring out the  best in the community and make it a better place to live.

I have no hesitation in describing Justice Raveendran as one of  the legends who have increased the prestige of the Supreme Court, the CJI said, adding that he increased the public faith in the Judiciary through his air-tight judgements. Even after  concluding his service as a Judge of the highest Court, he  continues to be passionate of serving the public cause.  

In the foreword, Justice Venkatachallaiah wrote that the book pre-empt the need for any extraneous foreword, but his  admiration for Justice Raveendran compelled him not to deny  this opportunity to record his tribute to this eminent work. 

The book ‘Anomalies of Law and Justice’ is divided into two parts. The first part is addressed  to the common man, along with judges and lawyers. The second  part is specifically addressed to lawyers and judges. This second part is specialized in its outlook and addresses certain  complicated issues which have subsisted for decades. This book covers procedural as well as substantive law relating to civil procedure, electoral reforms and the alternate dispute resolution mechanism. The treatment given in this book is  scholarly, with a mix of both academic and practical knowledge.  It caters to both legal professionals as well as academicians. 

Justice Raveendran, in this book identifies certain existing anomalies in the law. There is no doubt that Indian law is filled with old legislations enacted during the British rule, which have lost their significance in the contemporary India. One such example which he highlights, relates to the fines under IPC which have not been amended since 1860. He concludes the chapter by noting that there are many such examples which need to be  considered by both a vigilant Bar and the Bench.

The CJI said, “Justice Raveendran played a significant role through his judicial pronouncements in helping India realise its true potential in the liberalized economic environment.

It was Justice Raveendran who, for the first  time, in the case of Booz Allen, recognized such excessive  intervention as being detrimental to an arbitration friendly image for India. It is only after his judgment that the Supreme Court and other High Courts followed the trend to interpret the law in an arbitration-friendly manner. Ultimately, the noble  intentions laid down in Booz Allen were fully realised through  the recent amendment to the Arbitration Act and subsequent judicial interpretation, the CJI said.

One aspect which caught my attention, the CJI said is the part addressing  the ADR mechanism in India. Justice Raveendran has years of  experience in this field. He has the distinction of settling major  contentious arbitrations across India as well as in other  countries.

The CJI said, Recently, In the case of Vidya Drolia, I had an occasion to deal  with an area of arbitration which has troubled the Indian Courts since the enactment of the Arbitration Act of 1996. Initially, when the Courts started interpreting the 1996 enactment, it was seen as intervention by Courts at every step of the arbitraral process. Such an approach was detrimental not only to the autonomy of the parties but was also a reason for increasing  judicial backlog.

Justice Raveendran, in his book again navigates through various issues affecting arbitration practice in India.  From the lack of professional vigor to delays, the book addresses these concerns in great detail, which must be looked into by all  stake-holders so as to achieve the full potential of arbitration in India. Justice Raveendran has emphasized that an efficient arbitration system in India will not only strengthen trade and commerce in India but also increase the confidence of the international  community in India’s dispute resolution process.

The forethought of Justice Raveendran, to make India  Arbitration friendly, which was against the established  precedents at that time, is commendable. His efforts had the desired impact of enhanced ease of doing business in the  country and tremendously cutting down on litigation time. The general distrust among the business community regarding litigation was adequately addressed through his various  judgments, which are a testament to Justice Raveendran’s judicial capabilities.            

In this excellent compendium, published by Eastern Book Company, Justice Raveendran brings forward the contemporary problems in justice delivery, corrupt system, the role of diverse institutions in the Parliamentary Democracy, deterioration of moral values, loss of confidence of the common man in the rule of law, judicial conduct in decision making and law being not in sync with justice. With over four decades of experience on the Bench and off it, Justice Raveendran suggests meaningful and vitally important solutions to these problems. The Book consists of two sets of articles – the first dealing with matters relating to law and justice of relevance and interest to the general public and the second dealing with subjects of special interest to the members of the Judiciary and the Bar.

The Publisher Eastern Book Company (EBC) organized the panel discussion through an online mode and the registration link was circulated to the legal fraternity across the country./ILNS/SNG  

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