Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju

Jaipur: Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday said regional and local languages should be promoted in proceedings at lower and high courts, while arguments and judgments in the Supreme Court can happen in English.

The minister also said around 70 redundant laws will be repealed during the Monsoon Session of Parliament starting Monday.

The minister said no mother tongue should be considered inferior to English and asserted he does not subscribe to the view that a lawyer should get more respect, cases or fees only because he speaks more in English.

He also said there should be good coordination between the government and the judiciary so that justice is delivered expeditiously.

No court should be only for the privileged and the doors of justice should be open for all equally, he said at the inaugural session of the 18th All India Legal Services Authority in Jaipur where he also delved on the languages used in court proceedings.

“Arguments and judgments in the Supreme Court happen in English. But our vision is that in high courts and lower courts, regional and local languages need to be given priority,” the minister said, delivering his address in Hindi.

He said there are lawyers who cannot effectively argue in English, and as such when a common speaking language is used in proceedings, it can resolve many problems.

“If I have a problem speaking in English, I should have the liberty to speak my mother tongue. I am not in favour that those who speak more in English should get more respect, more cases or more fees. I am against it.

“We are born with our mother tongue and grew up with it. We should not consider our mother tongue inferior to English,” he said.

The minister also expressed concern over rising pendency in courts, saying their count is going to be around five crore. He said the target should be to clear two crore cases in two years.

“There should be good coordination between the government and the judiciary so that there is no delay in achieving the objective of delivering justice to people,” he said.

“The first question I receive wherever I go is what steps the government is taking to ensure that pendency comes down. This is a challenge and this meeting is a good occasion to discuss it,” he said.

He said those who are resourceful and rich hire high-paid advocates who charge Rs 10-15 lakh for one hearing but the common man cannot afford them. The minister said that any reason which keeps a common man away from the court is a matter of concern.

On redundant laws, he said any such legislation that works as a burden in the life of common people must be removed.

Around 1,486 redundant laws have been removed from the statute book so far, and 1,824 more identified, he said.

“I am committed to removing close to 71 different acts and appropriation acts from the statute book of the parliament,” he said, adding, that officers impose unnecessary legal provisions on people due to which the common man suffers.

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