New Delhi: Outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi with Chief Justice of India-designate S.A. Bobde during a farewell programme organised on his last working day at the Supreme Court, in New Delhi on Nov 15, 2019. . Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Nov 15 : Outgoing Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Friday said the judicial system is facing new challenges, which emerge from within and outside of court complexes and judicial processes.

The Chief Justice, who demits office on November 17, did not directly refer to the sexual harassment allegations against him by a court staffer, but instead said: "As an institution, we have tried to deliver much more than what is reasonably possible, yet, today each of us is required to deal with new challenges, which unfortunately arise from within and outside of our Court Complexes and our judicial processes." Citing the stakeholders in the judicial system, he, in a speech on his last working day, said that their indifference to the dignity of the institution has reached new lows in the recent past, as rank hooliganism and intimidatory behaviour has become the order of the day in some pockets of the court system. "This has to be acknowledged, so that its vicious designs are defeated and the glory of our Institution stands uncompromised," CJI Gogoi said.

The Chief Justice also said that the youngest of the judges should not suffer the belligerency of a handful, who may masquerade as stakeholders, but are "hostile to legitimate processes and would go to any length to browbeat the seekers of truth and justice".

He emphasised that many face daily challenges in the form of missing infrastructure or even reckless action from local members of the bar, and it should not make them forget they are a part of a greater narrative that has a major role in unifying and integrating the citizenry and strengthening the justice delivery architecture of the nation.

"In my view, self-regulation and self-realisation amongst the members of the Bar that they are officers of the court would be a better way ahead then any legislative mandate that might come in case the citizenry make it their focus in a democracy to usher in such a change," he said.

Giving his opinion on pendency, the Chief Justice said that an in-house study with real time data has shown that no less than 48 per cent percent of so-called pendency figures in criminal matters relate to matters where the process awaits appearance or production of the accused. "Similarly, as much as 23 per cent of pendency figures on the civil side relates to matters which are fixed for 'appearance of parties'. This defies logic and sound reasoning. In fact, this is almost insane to include in the figure that would constitute pendency before us," he insisted.

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