Builders only understand colour of money or jail term, says SC, holds firm guilty of contempt


THANE: Justice Abhay S Oka, who was recently appointed judge of the Supreme Court, has said “crisis of credibility” is a challenge being faced by the judiciary at present and members of the legal profession should ensure the backlog of cases because of the COVID-19 pandemic is cleared.

He was speaking at a function organised on Monday evening by the Thane District Courts Bar Association here in Maharashtra to felicitate him on his appointment as the judge of the country’s top court.

On the occasion, Justice Oka said “crisis of credibility” was the challenge being faced by the judiciary and even if the third wave of COVID-19 strikes, judicial officers and lawyers should ensure the legal work goes on uninterrupted and people get justice.

Members of the legal profession should work towards restoring faith of the country’s citizens in the judiciary, he said.

He gave an example of the Karnataka High Court, where judges decided to work for 11 Saturdays during the pandemic to clear the backlog of cases, and said such ways should be found in other courts as well.

Noting that the judge to population ratio in the country currently stood at 17 or 18 judges per million people, he said the issue of shortage of judges in courts needs to be addressed and this ratio needs to to be improved.

In his speech, Justice Oka also recalled his journey from a practising advocate in a Thane court in 1983 to becoming the judge of the Supreme Court.

Justice Oka enrolled as an advocate in 1983, and was elevated as the additional judge of the Bombay High Court in 2003.

He became the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court in 2019.

In August this year, he was elevated to the SC.