President Ram Nath Kovind lauds govt, collegium for filling Supreme court’s vacancies

President Ram Nath Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday lauded the government and the Supreme Court Collegium for working together to ensure that all the vacancies in the top court are filled.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Supreme Court s new Additional Building Complex, the President said, While the quality of our judges and the independence of our judiciary are recognised around the world, the problem of numbers and vacancies has arisen from time to time. Even so, today we are in the happy position that all 31 vacancies in the Supreme Court have been filled by able judges. This has happened after a full decade, and for this achievement I too must congratulate the Collegium and the government for working together with such understanding and urgency.

Hundred judgments of the apex court translated into nine Indian languages were handed over to the President as part of the apex court s project to provide translated copies of judgments to litigants.

Welcoming this, Kovind said translations of judgments is a subject very close to my heart . He recalled seeing litigants struggle with judgments because they did not understand English and had to engage a lawyer to explain it, incurring extra costs.

The President hoped that judgments would be translated into more Indian languages in the future.

Speaking at the event, Chief Justice of Ranjan Gogoi said, History has witnessed how great institutions have been brought to the knees by the wicked and the vile. History has also seen how even great nations have been brought down in (an) utterly deceptive manner. The threat from such people has always been the greatest to institutions like the judiciary which do not pander to any particular interest or bow to powerful coteries that breed in nooks and dark corners. It is, therefore, necessary for each stakeholder to remain on guard and introspect his her respective role in the growth and glory of this great institution.

Union Minister of State for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad congratulated the Chief Justice of India for the interest he was taking in filling up the vacancies in the subordinate judiciary.

Stating that appointments must go on, he said, Perhaps today the time had come to seriously reflect on the need for an All India Judicial Service.

The additional building complex boasts of state-of-the-art facilities, including occupancy sensors that turn off the lights automatically if there is no one around, and parking facility for 1800 cars.

The foundation stone for the building, aimed at addressing space constraints in the Supreme Court building, was laid in September 2012. It has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 900 crore on a plot measuring 12.19 acres near Pragati Maidan.