New Delhi: Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday said it is difficult to put a cap or regulate the “exorbitant” fees charged by some of the lawyers in the country but efforts are on to encourage good lawyers to take up cases of needy free of cost or at minimum fees.

He also said in Lok Sabha that the government and the Supreme Court collegium are working in tandem to fill up the vacancies in the apex court as well as high courts but it gets delayed some time as certain due diligence have to be undertaken before anyone is appointed as a judge.

“It is difficult for the government to regulate or put a cap on the fees of the advocates. It is true that some of the lawyers fees are so exorbitant that common people can’t hire them,” he said replying to a question during Question Hour.

The minister said good lawyers should come forward to take up the cases of the needy, free of cost or at minimum fees.

He said young lawyers should be encouraged to take up cases of the poor on pro-bono.

“I am also going to launch a big campaign to ensure that everyone gets justice without difficulties or paying high fees,” he said.

Replying to a supplementary on judges vacancies, Rijiju said both the government and the Supreme Court collegium are working in tandem to reduce the vacancies but the government is bound to do some due diligence before appointment of anyone as judge.

However, he said, since July 2021, when he took charge of the Ministry of Law and Justice, a lot of judges were appointed in high courts as well as the Supreme Court.

“Even the Chief Justice of India had said that the period has seen fastest appointment of judges since last few decades,” he said.

Rijiju said it is fact that certain judges vacancies will always remain because the process of the appointment of judges takes time. “The system is just like that and it takes time,” he said.

He said that efforts are also on to fill up the vacancies in tribunals.

“Due to our efforts pendency in the Income Tax tribunals has come down from 90,000 to 60,000,” he said.

Talking about the proposed mediation bill, the minister said the draft bill has been sent to (parliamentary) standing committee and he was confident that it will come with lots of reforms.

“I am sure the bill will give relief to common people who have little means to go for litigation in courts,” he said.

Rijiju said mediation is the tradition of India for ages and millennium and the meditation bill is expected to come up with suggestions for it.

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