Jurists call for common SAARC platform on judicial reforms
Eminent jurists from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Maldives, who participated in the two-day international conference of jurists on Judicial Reforms in the city, called for a joint SAARC forum for judges to introduce judicial reforms, while stressing the need to tackle the problem of corruption on Sunday. Speaking on the concluding day of the conference, Justice Avdhesh Kumar Yadav, Judge of the Supreme Court of Nepal, criticised judges indulging in corrupt practices while deliberating on the issue of rise in corruption creeping into the judiciary and the need for a free and fair role of judges.
He said no reform could be complete unless this issue is immediately tackled. He added corruption was a common problem in the SAARC region.
Addressing the valedictory function at the Law Bhawan auditorium, the Chief Justice of Maldives, Justice Abdulla Saeed, said these reforms could not be brought about single-handedly. Participating jurists also voiced concern about the lack of interaction between judges of SAARC countries, calling for a joint forum, a body for the judges of the SAARC countries, to share knowledge.
Giving an instance of the recent judicial reform in Maldives on the sidelines of the conference, Justice Saeed said the Supreme Court in his country came into existence only in 2008, replacing the Judicial Council, thereby giving complete control of the justice system to the judiciary.
Justice Shamsuddin Choudhary, Judge of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, said justice for all, particularly common people, can only be achieved through judicial activism. He said the Bench and the Bar together form a mighty force, which was amply proved when this combination brought down the “despotic rule” of General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan.
The conference brought on one platform judges and jurists from India, Maldives, Bangladesh and Nepal, apart from Ambassador of Iceland, Gudmundur Eiriksson, who is a former judge of the International Court of Justice.
H S Mattewal, Advocate General of Punjab, called for making the judiciary more accountable. H S Hooda, Advocate General of Haryana, advocated putting in place alternative dispute resolution mechanisms like Lok Adalats, Gram Nyayalayas, family courts along with an effective legal aid system. Pratap Singh, Chairman, Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, welcomed the guests and Adish C Aggrawala, President of the International Council of Jurists and Chairman of the All-India Bar Association, thanked the participants.