Speaking at his felicitation ceremony organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), he stressed that the country should move towards a more modern and equal judiciary.
“Unless, we in superior courts, be it the High Courts or the Supreme Court, realise that the district judiciary is the core or the cornerstone of the judicial system, nothing is going to change,” he said.
Elaborating on the aspect of colonial mindset in judiciary, the Chief Justice said he thinks that a culture of subordination has been fostered and he makes a conscious effort not to call district judges as subordinate judges because they are not subordinates, “they belong to the district judiciary”.
Sharing his experience during visits to the district courts, he said there used to be a convention for district judges to stand when high court judges were having their lunch or dinner, and sometimes they even try to serve (food) to the high court judges. “That speaks of our colonial mindset,” he said, and further added that he always insisted district judges sit on the same table and have the food.
Chief Justice Chandrachud said the younger lot of judges are different and they would be talking to you on a footing of equality because that shows where India is going. “They are young, educated, bright and they have aspirations, they have a sense of self-worth,” he said.
He said in improving the infrastructure of district judiciary, a great deal of work has to be done and also “we also have to change our mindset as to how we as superior court judges look at our own district judiciary”.
The Chief Justice said he would like to use more technological intervention for smooth listing of cases; however, technology would be used to optimise the output without diminishing the existing role of human resources.
“I begin by telling you that I am not here to do miracles. I know that challenges are high, perhaps the expectations are also high, and I am deeply grateful to your sense of faith but I am not here to do miracles,” he said.
CJI Chandrachud said he believes “that my motto every day is that if this were to be the last day in my life, have I left the world a better place. This is what I ask myself every day”.