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Report No. 114

1.4. Seventy-seventh Report of the Law Commission.-

The exercise was again taken in 1978. The Commission took note of 'the criticism that the present system of administration of justice is not suited to the genius of our people, is based on the ground that our society basically is an agragain society not sophisticated enough to understand the technical and cumbersome procedure followed by our courts.1 The conclusion reached was that 'the present system is not a product of one day and that it will be a retrograde step to revert to the primitive method of administration of justice by taking our disputes to a group of ordinary laymen ignorant of the modern complexities of life and not conversant with legal concepts and procedures.'

There appears a lurking respect for the system as it is administered, coupled with a fond hope that 'the real need appears to be to further improve the existing system to meet modern requirements in the context of our national ethos and not to replace it by an inadequate system which was left behind long ago.2 There was, however, a body of contrary opinion which unmistakably felt that 'the British system of administration of justice in our country has not been an unmixed good it has also, at the lowest level, alienated the people from the system because of its foreign origin, technicality, extreme formalism, rigid rules of procedure and relevance and foreign language. It has, at the village level, and even at the level of taluka towns, remained as alien system which has no living contact with the masses and is not meaningful to them.3

1. LCI Seventy-seventh Report, Ch. 3, para. 3.3.

2. LCI Seventy-seventh Report, Ch. 3, para. 3.20.

3. Report of the Legal Aid Committee (Govt. of Gujarat, 1971), para. 13.12, p. 209.

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