Cuttack: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday stressed the need for restoration of ethical outlooks in the justice delivery system by making it more faithful and acceptable to the common people.
Patnaik was speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of a two-day National Seminar titled ‘Judiciary, Ethics and Justice Delivery in India’ jointly organised by the National Law University, Odisha and Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi.
The Chief Minister laid the importance of ethics governing every aspect of our lives. Stating Mahatma Gandhi as the greatest lawyer the country ever produced, he quoted him that there should be “no gap between truthfulness and law”. According to him, there is a need to restore ethical values in our judicial system and an individual should strive to lose himself in something greater than himself to become ethical.
Empathizing on the importance of ethics for a lawyer, he told the students of the university that lawyers of repute never compromise on ethics at any cost. He also stated that in order to become a great lawyer, one must have a thorough knowledge of one’s country’s history.
In his welcome address, Dr. Manzoor Alam, Chairman, Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi said that delay defeats justice and therefore the judicial system should be speedier.
Prof. Mool Chand Sharma, Former Vice-Chairman, University Grants Commission and presently Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Haryana drew the attention of the gathering to the crisis that most institutions in the country are facing today due to our deterioration of democracy. He termed democracy as a “constant tension” that is present in all aspects of our lives at all times. However, he felt a positive energy can be channelized out of this friction. As democracy becomes more demanding, friction becomes evident but it has also enough scope for commendable actions, he said.
Speaking on the occasion as chief speaker, Supreme Court Judge Justice Dipak Mishra, said that ethics can never be ‘static’. Despite the temporal nature of ethics that keep constantly evolving with time and mindset, he urged the gathering to understand that personal values should never get in the way of collective values of judiciary and hence, personal values should not hamper decision making of a judge. Echoing Shri Naveen Patnaik, he emphasized that judicial ethics is the soul of justice.
The first session was chaired by Justice D P Mahapatra, Formerly Judge, Supreme Court of India and Chairman, Odisha Human Rights Commission and in the second session, the chairperson was Prof Mool Chand Sharma.
In both Business Sessions of Day 1, the theme Judicial Accountability: Practices and Perspective was discussed by speakers Jayant Das, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India & President, Odisha High Court Bar Association and D.P Choudhury, Director, Odisha Judicial Academy. Both Jayant Das and D. P Choudhury spoke about the importance of the mechanism of control and discipline by the judges.
The first day of the Seminar saw paper presentations by students and academicians from reputed institutions all across India like Christ College, Bangalore, most National Law Universities in the country and University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun.