17 March, Cuttack
President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday advised the lawyers of the nation to be a voice for the voiceless and bring justice to the most deprived.
“It would be a travesty of our republican ethic if a poor person did not get the same access to the law as a rich person. Unfortunately, in practice this is happening,” said the President while delivering the Foundation Day Lecture of the National Law University in Cuttack in Odisha.
He said the legal system of the country has a reputation of being expensive and being prone to delays.
“Use and abuse of instrument of adjournments are often done by advocates who see adjournment as a tactic to slow down proceedings, rather than a response to a genuine emergency,” he added.
“The judicial system has its responsibilities and so does the lawyer community. An advocate is a law officer of the court. He or she has a responsibility to the client, and also a duty to assist the court in the delivery of justice,” said the President.
Kovind said that these are issues for the emerging generation of lawyers to ponder over and to rectify.
“The opportunities and rewards of this profession — both intellectual and financial — are enormous. And this is welcome. But a good legal professional is not just somebody with a mind – he or she is also somebody with a heart,” he said.
He said for all its advances, at its root the legal profession has a simple aspiration – for the lawyer to be a voice for the voiceless and to bring justice to the deprived.
The Foundation Day Lecture of the National Law University was attended by Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra, Governor S.C. Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.