PIL for access to justice, not judicial activism: Justice Lokur

New Delhi : Judiciary cannot remain silent or inactive in case of violation of human rights and access to justice is available to people through the PIL which is sometimes confused with judicial activism, Supreme Court Judge, Justice Madan B. Lokur has said.

The judiciary has to step in and strike down the law which violates human rights, he said and also stressed on the protection of defensive rights like right to be protected against crime and abuse of power.

“Judiciary can not remain silent if there is violation of rights of people. If there is violations of human rights then judiciary cannot fold his hand,” he said in a lecture organised by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) on Monday.

Justice Lokur said that the right to access to justice can be achieved through Public Interest Litigation (PIL), but stressed that it is “sometime confused with what is described as judicial activism”.

“Judiciary has to stand up and take notice of this,” he said, terming PIL a necessity to deal with the government’s inaction.

Citing obstacles in access of justice like delay or failure of state in implementing laws and quoted examples like failure of establishing Child Welfare Committee and various other commissions despite the court’s direction, Justice Lokur also said that society has to deal with challenges of abuse of political and muscle power.

He stressed on the implementation of right to have rule of law enforced as defensive right of society, saying that if this fails, then society will step back to “jungle raj”.

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