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India’s first mobile court inaugurated

Manisha Jha

It would transact judicial business in both civil and criminal cases

— Photo: S. Subramanium

Justice at doorstep: Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan (third from left) at the launch of the country’s first mobile court in Mewat district, Haryana, on Saturday. With him are (from left): Justice Ashok Bhan; Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda; Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Vijender Jain; and Union Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj.

MEWAT (HARYANA): With an endeavour to make the judicial system accessible to remote and backward areas, the country’s first mobile court was inaugurated in the Mewat district of Haryana on Saturday.

Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, while inaugurating the court in the presence of Union Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Vijender Jain, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Supreme Court judges Ashok Bhan and H.S. Bedi, said, “People generally go to courts to get justice but today with mobile courts, the courts will come to the people.”

Asserting the importance of judiciary in a democratic setup, Mr. Justice Balakrishnan said, “A judicial system for the masses is a must for maintenance of rule of law and for safeguarding the democracy. It is because of the judiciary that democracy is maintained in India.” So, he urged more State Governments and the Centre to come forward in strengthening this system.

The Chief Justice of India also advised the people of Mewat to make full use of the facilities made available to them through the mobile court and not to misuse their rights. “Unless economic growth percolates to the common man in the form of better education, jobs and a better judicial system, it will remain a myth and never become a reality,” he added.

From Monday, the mobile court, that has been set up in a bus, would move from one location to another according to a well-prepared plan and schedule. The court shall sit on four days every week at four different centres and on two days it would work as a regular court at Ferozepur Jhirka. The selected centres include Punhana, Shikrawa, Indana and Lohinga Kalan. In the first phase, the court will start functioning in Punhana block which has been divided into four zones, each consisting of 25 to 30 villages.

Said to be a brainchild of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the concept of mobile court is based on the pressing need to take the administration of civil and criminal justice closer to the people so that those living in remote areas are able to benefit without incurring the expenses of travelling to courts at distant places.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Hooda said, “We chose Mewat for inaugurating the first mobile court because of its abysmal literacy rate and as it is the most backward district of Haryana. We need further innovations such as these in the judiciary to take our country forward.” The mobile court would be staffed like a regular court and transact serious judicial business in both civil and criminal cases through a full-fledged trial. It would be presided over by an Additional Civil Judge-cum-Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate.

Dubbing the introduction of mobile courts as a revolutionary occasion for the judiciary, Mr. Justice Jain said, “Though our country has progressed enormously since Independence the judicial system has still not managed to reach the poor and illiterate masses living in remote and backward areas. We hope that mobile courts will help in solving this problem and ensure justice for all as envisaged in our Constitution.”

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