The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the programme marking the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of Guwahati High Court at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra, Guwahati, Assam today. During the programme, the Prime Minister launched a mobile application ‘Assam Cop’ designed by Assam Police. The app will facilitate accused and vehicle searches from the database of the Crime & Criminal Network Tracking System (CCTNS) and the VAHAN national register.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister expressed happiness in getting the opportunity to become a part of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of Guwahati High Court. Noting that the Guwahati High Court is completing 75 years of its existence at a time when the nation is celebrating its 75th year of independence, the Prime Minister said that it is a time to preserve the experience and also take the next step to bring in answerable and responsible changes for accomplishing new goals. “Guwahati High Court has its own heritage and identity”, the Prime Minister remarked as he noted that the scope of jurisdiction of the Guwahati High Court is the largest which includes the neighboring states of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. Until 2013, the Prime Minister pointed out, there were seven states under the jurisdiction of the Guwahati High Court as he highlighted the rich history and democratic heritage of the entire Northeast associated with it. The Prime Minister congratulated the state of Assam along with the entire Northeastern states, especially the legal fraternity on the momentous occasion. Noting the importance of the Jayanti of Babasaheb today, the Prime Minister paid tribute to Dr Ambedakar. He said that the constitutional values of equality and cohesion are the foundation of modern India.
The Prime Minister recalled his detailed exposition about the aspirational society of India from the rampart of Red Fort on the last Independence Day. The Prime Minister noted that the aspirations of Indian citizens in the 21st century are unbounded and the Judiciary as a pillar of democracy has a strong and sensitive role to play in meeting these aspirations. The Constitution also expects us to build a strong, vibrant and modern legal system. Underlining the combined responsibility of the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive, the Prime Minister gave the example of the abolition of outdated laws. “We repealed thousands of archaic laws, reduced compliances”, he said. He informed that about 2000 such laws and more than 40 thousand compliances have been discontinued. This along with the decriminalization of many provisions of business has reduced the number of cases in the courts.
“Be it the government or the judiciary, the role of every institution and its constitutional obligation is connected to the Ease of Living of the common citizens”, the Prime Minister remarked. Highlighting that technology has emerged as a powerful tool in achieving Ease of Living, the Prime Minister said that the government is ensuring absolute utilization of technology in every possible sector. Giving examples of DBT, Aadhaar and Digital India Mission, the Prime Minister said that every scheme has become a medium of ensuring the rights of the poor. Touching upon PM Swamitva Yojna, the Prime Minister highlighted that India has taken a huge lead when dealing with the issue of property rights which resulted in the burdening of the legal system of the country. He pointed out that even developed nations are dealing with the issue of unclear property rights. He informed that drone mapping of more than 1 lakh villages in the country and property card distribution to lakhs of citizens have already been accomplished, which will result in a decline in property-related cases and ease the lives of citizens.
The Prime Minister felt that there is unlimited scope for technology to modernize the justice delivery system in the country. Praising the work of the Supreme Court’s e-committee, the Prime Minister told the gathering about phase 3 of the e-court mission as announced in this year's budget. He also mentioned global efforts to use AI in the judicial system to bring efficiency. “We should also try to increase efforts to improve the ease of justice for the common citizen through AI”, the Prime Minister said.
Talking about the Alternative Dispute Resolution System, the Prime Minister touched upon the rich local traditional alternative dispute resolution mechanism of the Northeast. He also praised the publication of 6 books by the High Court on customary laws. He also requested that these traditions should be taught in law schools.
The Prime Minister said that a critical part of ease of justice is correct knowledge and understanding among the citizens about the laws of the country as it enhances citizen trust in the country and its systems. Shri Modi informed about the efforts to create a more accessible simple version of all the laws. “Effort is to draft laws in simple language and this approach will be greatly helpful for the courts of our country”, he said. The Prime Minister also mentioned the BHASHINI portal which aims to help every citizen to access the Internet in their own language. He said that the courts also benefit from this.
The Prime Minister emphasized the need for the government and the judiciary to be sensitive towards those who have been incarcerated for petty crimes for years and do not have the resources or the money. He also took note of those whose families were not ready to accept them after the legal processes had been completed. The Prime Minister informed that this year’s Budget has a provision for financial assistance for such prisoners where financial aid will be handed over to the state by the center to help them in their release.
“Dharma protects those who protect the Dharma”, the Prime Minister said quoting a shloka, and underlined that it is our ‘dharma’ and our responsibility as an institution that the work towards the nation remains foremost. The Prime Minister concluded by underlining that it is this belief that will take the country to the goal of ‘Viksit Bharat’.
Governor of Assam, Shri Gulab Chand Kataria, Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Pema Khandu, Union Minister for Law and Justice, Shri Kiren Rijiju, Justice Hrishikesh Roy of Supreme Court, and Chief Justice Sandeep Mehta of Guwahati High Court were present on the occasion among others.
The Guwahati High Court was established in 1948 and it served as the common court for the seven north-eastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh until March 2013, when separate High Courts for the States of Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura were created. The Gauhati High Court now has jurisdiction over the States of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, with its Principal Seat at Guwahati and three permanent Benches in Kohima (Nagaland), Aizawl (Mizoram) and Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh).
गुवाहाटी हाइकोर्ट की अपनी एक अलग विरासत रही है, अपनी एक पहचान रही है। pic.twitter.com/03M7ppDXKr— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 14, 2023
आज डॉ. बाबा साहेब आंबेडकर की जयंती है।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 14, 2023
हमारे संविधान के निर्माण में बाबा साहेब की मुख्य भूमिका रही है। pic.twitter.com/gFnB2LJCUp
21वीं सदी में हर भारतवासी के सपने और उसकी आकांक्षाएँ असीम हैं। pic.twitter.com/heF4JARnW8— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 14, 2023
We repealed thousands of archaic laws, reduced compliances. pic.twitter.com/2qugunoGZt— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 14, 2023