New Delhi: Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu on Saturday called upon judges and lawyers to remain steadfast and together to protect and preserve the independence of the judiciary.
The bench and bar have to remain together to protect and uphold the independence of the judiciary, which Chief Justice Dattu described as a national asset.
He recalled an incident from the epic Mahabharata, where Duryodhan was held by the Gandharvas, and Yudhisthir asked Bhim to go and rescue his brother.
On finding Bhim reluctant on account of the rift between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, Yudhisthir told him that the Kauravas and Pandavas may be at loggerheads, but when there is an attack on the family, then the 100 Kauravas and five Pandavas were 105 brothers.
The bench and bar together constitute the justice delivery system. The bench alone and the bar by itself cannot do it. They are the wheels of the judicial chariot, the chief justice told legal luminaries at a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association on India's 69th Independence Day on the Supreme Court lawns.
He urged the lawyers to maintain the image of the bar.
Recalling the sacrifices of freedom fighters, bar association president Dushyant Dave said it was easy to enjoy freedom but difficult to preserve it.
He said it was the duty of the legal fraternity to protect this freedom.
Dave said that though the executive (government) will always want to have social control and contend that the security of the state overrides the security of an individual but "individual freedom can't be compromised".
Pointing to the problem that the system was facing, Dave said: "The judicial system is under stress and the way things are going it may take a long way."
He urged the government to look into the issue with an open mind and take "active and aggressive" steps to address the situation.
Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said a small group of people were creating disturbances instead of taking recourse to legal remedies.
He said such people should be made to account for their actions.
The law minister said protected mitigation, delay in disposal of cases and awarding punishments were adversely impacting the people seeking justice.