SC gives justice to rich & poor with equal speed, says CJI-designate Uday Umesh Lalit


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NEW DELHI: CJI-designate Uday Umesh Lalit, who will take oath as the 49th Chief Justice on August 27, said the apex court delivers justice to the rich and poor with equal speed, countering a popular view that cases of rich and powerful get precedence.
TOI asked him whether the judiciary unwittingly gave precedence to cases of the rich and influential, who engage renowned senior advocates assisted by a battery of lawyers, as compared to the cases of poor and marginalised who could ill afford even a lawyer.
Justice Lalit said, “The cases of the rich and famous attract the attention of the media and public. These cases and the court verdicts are discussed and debated. But has anyone from the media ever given attention to the cases filed by Ram Lal or Shyam Lal? Every day we decide many cases filed by commoners. But, no one notices.”
“We as judges may give a little more time to a senior advocate because he brings in experience, knowledge and court craft. This does not mean we don’t hear young or inexperienced advocates. The primary function of the Supreme Court is to lay down the law. In that process, we hear whosoever meaningfully assists,” he said, adding personally he never differentiated between a young or an experienced lawyer when either argued before him in a case.
He said decisions rendered by constitutional courts must have three Cs — clarity, consistency and certainty. “These characteristics are a must in the decision making process at the highest level. Once this is achieved, the decisions and logic employed would percolate down to the HCs soon and help them apply the same principles in deciding similar cases,” he said.
He is also of the opinion that instead of having law graduates as law clerks, young judicial officers could be appointed as law clerks to constitutional court judges.

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