“Freedom may be a gift from God but it necessarily requires to be secured on earth”: Justice M M Kumar

SRINAGAR : Chief Justice Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Mr Justice M. M. Kumar today said that Rule of Law is an idea which has been articulated in our Constitution more than 63 years ago. He said that the declaration made in Chapter III of the constitution, containing fundamental rights leave no manner of doubt that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights which include life, liberty, justice and fraternity.
Justice Kumar was addressing North Zone 3rd Regional Judicial Conference on “Role of Courts in upholding Rule of Law” organized by High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, National Judicial Academy, Bhopal and J&K State Judicial Academy at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Complex (SKICC) here today.
He said that even today we find that it is a never ending journey and we are all clamouring to ensure that these principles are translated into the realities of lives of our citizens. “Freedom may be a gift from God but it necessarily requires to be secured on earth, he added. It is we the people of India who install government which is for the people, by the people and of the people. Despite achieving great heights the struggle to win freedom, justice and liberty still remains a distant dream for the teeming millions on account of their poverty, backwardness and lack of information about their own rights. The challenge which confronts the legislature, executive and judiciary as on today is how to bring the teeming millions on the equal pedestal by restoring them their right to equality, justice and fraternity. This Conference aims at unfolding the lacunas discovered while applying the principles of Rule of Law. There are areas in States like Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Jammu and Kashmir which remain cut off from the main land for months together. Citing the example of a distant and remote area Dachhan in district Kishtwar, Mr. Kumar said that this area remains cut off from the main District Headquarters for about three months, even when it opens, the journey for a citizen continues to be tedious which takes two days to reach the Sub-Division Courts. Mr. Kumar said that Jammu and Kashmir High Court started a Court of Civil Judge at Dachhan which functions for two days every fortnight to serve the seekers of justice, no matter where he is.
Referring to the objective of holding conference, Mr. Kumar said that we try to find solutions to the problems of high cost, delay and procedural bottlenecks so as to make justice accessible to a larger number of people. He said that the Courts have gone to the extent of treating a postcard as a writ petition in order to ensure that a citizen at the lowest rung may not be deprived of his rights. He said in a large number of cases, numerous directions have been issued for speedy trial, pollution free environment, jail reforms, and police reforms and on many other subjects.
Mr. Kumar hoped that this Conference would bring the administration of Justice and the Rule of Law more close to the people of the region and provide inspiration to all of us to work tirelessly to achieve that object. He further hoped that the proceedings in all the working sessions would be fruitful.
Earlier, Mr. Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir, presented welcome address and spoke about the objective of organising the conference. He hoped that the conference will provide the new generation a guideline to adhere strictly to the Rule of Law and will develop sense of discipline, dedication in their day to day life.
Mr. Justice Sanjay Kishan Koul, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Courts gave some insights on the role of Courts in upholding Rule of Law. He, inter-alia, underscored the importance of Right to Information which has immensely empowered people.
Director, NJA India, Dr. Balram K. Gupta in his address said that judges are engines of justice asserting that judicial education is different from legal education. He impressed upon the judges to be positive, develop sense of compassion with scientific temper in their day to day working.
Mr. Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar proposed vote of thanks the dignitaries who attended the inaugural session.
Later, in Session 2, Mr. Justice A. P. Sahi and Dr. Virender Kumar spoke about Classical Origins and Constitutional Understanding. It was followed by Session 3, in which Mr. Justice Surya Kant spoke on Rule of Law and Human Rights and in Session 4, a discussion was held on relevance of Rule of Law to District Judiciary.