CJI Thakur hopes to sort out issues arising out of refusal of Justice Chelameswar to take part in Collegium meetings

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 03 September 2016, 06:00 PM

Chief Justice of India T S Thakur on Saturday expressed hope that the controversy arising out of the refusal of Justice J Chelameswar to take part in Collegium meetings would be sorted out.

“We will sort it out,” the CJI told PTI here in a brief response when asked about his first reaction on the recent development centred around the functioning of the Collegium.

The CJI did not elaborate further on the issue. Justice Chelameswar, the fifth senior-most judge who is part of the five-member Collegium headed by CJI and Justices A R Dave, J S Khehar and Dipak Misra as other members, did not attend the Collegium meet scheduled on Thursday.

He also shot off a letter to the Justice Thakur expressing unwillingness to take part in Collegium meetings on several grounds including that it has been functioning in an “opaque” and “non-transparent” manner. The meeting of the Collegium was called off due to the development.

The CJI, who was delivering the convocation address at the National Law University (NLU) here, also raised the issue of lack of adequate number of judges at the level of trial and appellate courts.

The fundamental right of speedy trial is not being delivered at all levels in the criminal justice system due to the lack of right number of judges, he said.

“Speedy trial is a fundamental right and its a part of right to life. But unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, and a major reason is, as we all know, the lack of proper number of judges that are required. This is not happening at the trial level or at the appellate level. This needs to be addressed,” he said.

He urged young lawyers to face the challenges posed in today’s world for the “downtrodden” and steer the dynamics of change by being an instrument of constitutional values.

“I feel that reforms and especially rejuvenation of the system by additional vacancies being created, appointments being made, infrastructure being provided is the need of the hour,” the CJI said.