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Justice AR.Lakshmanan – January 1st, 2006
1. In your legal career, you are ought to face numerous problems menacing society. What kind of impact does that have on you personally?
I have not faced any problem in my legal carrier. It is true that society faces numerous problems. When the matter comes to court, it is the duty of the Judges to grant them relief. The court is entitled to mold the prayer and grant relief. People in India have immense faith and confidence in the legal system. There is large pend-ency of cases in courts and to dispose of the same alternative disputes resolution methods are also being adopted by the courts.
2. If you are given a free will, what changes would you suggest in the current Constitution of Indian law?
The Constitution of India is a sacred document. In my opinion, several amendments have already been made to the Constitution of India. Several new legislation are being enacted depending upon the current scenario and in tune with Directive Principles of State Policy.
3. How would you rate the functioning of Indian courts, one of the faces of democratic India, in striking a balance among various sections of people?
The courts in India are functioning well. There are many courts to satisfy the needs of the people. There are several criminal courts, fast track courts, industrial tribunals, labour courts, constitutional courts, tax law courts, consumer protection redressal forum, central administrative tribunal and state administrative tribunals to deal with service laws of central and state governments and family courts to deal with family disputes and custody of children cases. The courts are functioning very well and rendering justice to the people.
4. Have you ever been threatened by external forces to pass verdict in an inappropriate manner?
It is usual to receive threatening letters by external forces and some times by parties themselves in bogus names. Judges should not give any credence to those letters and to throw the same in the dustbin and perform their duties without fear or favour, affection or ill will, friend or foe.
5. Whom and what would you attribute your success to?
My seniors, my wife, my advocate colleagues and my colleagues of judiciary are all responsible for my success. As a lawyer I had the fullest cooperation from my beloved wife. She was looking after the children and other family affairs. She never interfered with my professional work which made me to work hard and to come up in life. Likewise, I had the fullest cooperation from my colleagues and juniors and also from my seniors. When I was on the bench in various High Courts and also in the Supreme Court I had the fullest cooperation from the members of the legal fraternity and also from my colleagues on the bench. During my entire carrier of 18 years as a Judge, I had to give a dissenting judgment only in one case in the Supreme Court and not earlier or thereafter. Once the argument is over, we the Judges on the bench discussed about the matter and the nature of judgment to be delivered by the bench. Therefore, there were little chances of expressing dissenting note. We deliver the verdict in open court immediately after the hearing is over and in the presence of lawyers and parties.
6. What is your advice to the youngsters?
I always advise the youngsters to work very hard with all sincerity and honesty, which only paves the way for success in the legal profession or any other profession whatsoever. Hard work will always pay in the long run.