Chief Justice of India UU Lalit on Sunday said the percentage of lawyers in Parliament was declining, while a majority of the founding fathers associated with the country’s Constitution were from the legal profession.
He was speaking at a felicitation programme organised here by Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur.
Recalling the great leaders of the past who were lawyers and their participation in the drafting of the Constitution, the CJI said the percentage of lawyers was declining in both Houses of Parliament.
“Our country has seen and benefitted from legal talents, right from its freedom struggle. A lawyer normally has been exposed to the correct way of thinking on how to find solutions for social problems or constitutional issues. He is better equipped than others to deal with situations facing society,” the CJI said.
“That is why the old servants of India and its society as well as the freedom struggle were predominantly lawyers. Today, the percentage of lawyers in both the Houses are declining,” he said.
He said the pyramid of the judicial structure must be bottom-heavy, whereas it was top-heavy at the moment in the country.
“All the talent is at the top level, while, unfortunately, in the mid and lower levels, talented youngsters and lawyers are not coming. We must have a bottom-heavy pyramid of the judicial structure,” the CJI asserted.
Replying to a query, while interacting with law students, on whether the judiciary was headed in the right direction, the CJI said, “Ours is a country governed by the rule of law. Whatever is right shall prevail and that is the kind of ethos that this country stands for and the judiciary is no exception.” When a matter arrives in court, the hammer must fall on the guilty and whoever has been wronged must get the umbrella of protection, he said.
“That is the job of the judiciary and we will strive to do that,” the CJI said.
Stating that there is a disconnect between district judges and the higher judiciary, he said there must be a system where the two groups can mingle as “this disconnect has to go”.
Registrar of MNLU Ramesh Kumar Chamarti gave the vote of thanks.
Justice Lalit took oath as the 49th Chief Justice of India (CJI) last week and will hold office till November 8.