Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Saturday said reforms such as the introduction of local languages in courts cannot happen in a day as these things take time due to logistical difficulties and hiccups.
"Sometimes, some of the judges are not familiar with the local language. The chief justice will always be from outside. Senior-most judges sometimes are also from outside," Justice Ramana said.
"There are several hurdles and bottlenecks or hiccups in the implementation of a regional language," he said in reply to a query during a joint press conference along with Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.
At the press conference, held following a day-long joint conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts, the CJI said that sometime in 2014, a plea to use local languages in courts was rejected by the full court of the Supreme Court.
"Thereafter, no concrete proposal came before the Supreme Court. Now recently, the debate over allowing regional languages has started," he said.
Tamil Nadu has raised the issue of using regional language in judicial proceedings, the Chief Justice of India said.
Justice Ramana also referred to a similar request by a senior politician from Gujarat but said he has not received any proposal yet.
"It has to reach from the village level to the Supreme Court. It takes some time," he said.
"Secondly, we do not have that technology or systems where the entire records have to be translated to local language or from local language to English. The logistic support is the biggest problem," Justice Ramana said.
To some extent, artificial intelligence is the way out, he said, adding that former CJI S A Bobde and Justice Nageswara Rao Committee had tried to do something in the matter.
"We cannot implement reform in one day. I think it will happen only over a period of time," he said.
The Union law minister, in response to the query, said the government was committed to promoting regional languages in the technical and legal field and consultations with stakeholders have to be held for that.
When asked what is stopping the government from using local languages in courts, Rijiju said, "Nothing is stopping. It is a process which requires wider consultations with the judiciary."
"Use of other languages in courts not only for arguments but also passing orders will require approval of the Chief Justice of India. That is why it needs wide consultation," Rijiju said.
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