Chief Justice Bobde Says SC May Impart Mental Health Advice

Justice Bobde said Covid-19 has led to an unprecedented increase in the pendency of cases.

2 min read
 File image of Chief Justice of India Justice SA Bobde.

Chief Justice SA Bobde on Saturday, 12 September said the Supreme Court may undertake a new initiative to deal with mental health issues and provide professional mental health advice.

Emphasising on the need to focus on mental health, the Chief Justice said the fall-outs of the pandemic are depressive tendencies and unnecessary aggression. He was delivering a special talk at the virtual launch of a book 'Judiciary, Judges and the Administration of Justice' written by former Supreme Court judge Justice R Banumathi. He added that the initiative to provide professional mental health advice will be shortly announced by the Secretary-General of the top court.

Justice Bobde said Covid-19 has led to an unprecedented increase in the pendency of cases, and he could not see any way out of it. He added the judiciary had to decide on cases and find a way through it.

“The judicial mind has to take into account several barriers and divisions existing in society, which are reflected in the cases that come to Court. While the judicial mind must acknowledge the existence of these social divisions and barriers, it cannot be swayed by these prejudices and add its own prejudice to the issue,” said Justice Bobde.

He emphasised that a judge is called upon to play a whole range of roles including that of arbiter, mediator, counsellor, sociologist, etc; and in the midst of all this, adjudicate disputes presented to him in a manner that is cognisant of constitutional aspirations and social realities.

Justice DY Chandrachud quoted a passage from the book in which Justice Banumathi had written that judges must remain judges even after they retire. Justice Banumathi has displayed great dignity after retirement, added Justice Chandrachud. He spoke about the work done so far by the Supreme Court E-committee, of which he is the chairperson, and cited data of cases at the district level during the pandemic. He said 12.69 lakh cases were disposed of out of nearly 28.6 lakh cases, which were registered at the district level during the pandemic.

Justice Bobde said the book by Justice Banumathi highlights the accomplishments of the e-courts project and reducing the pendency of cases. “The book also lays emphasis upon the smart use of technology in case management and court administration and taking Indian judiciary to higher levels of excellence. The book also highlights the need for Alternative Dispute Resolution and duties and responsibilities of all concerned,” he added.

(This article has been republished in arrangement with IANS)

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