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3.1 Hon’ble Dr. Justice AR. Lakshmanan, Chairman of the Law Commission of India, has very beautifully explained the subject in his book ‘Voice of Justice’. Some of the relevant paragraphs are reproduced as under:

“The Constitution of India guarantees to all its citizens right to life and personal liberty, right to equality, right to freedom etc. Apart from these public rights, there are various private rights arising from torts and contracts and also the various social welfare legislations such as Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1976, Equal Remuneration Act, Minimum Wages Act and so on. But these rights are of no avail if an individual has no means to get them enforced. Rule of law envisages that all men are equal before law. All have equal rights but unfortunately all cannot enjoy the rights equally. The enforcement of the rights has to be through the courts, but judicial procedure is very complex, costly and dilatory putting the poor persons at a distance.

The Constitution of India through Article 14 guarantees equality before law and equal protection of laws. It follows from this that equal opportunity must also be afforded for access to justice. It is not sufficient that law treats all persons equally, irrespective of the prevalent inequalities. But law must function in such a way that all the people have access to justice in spite of the economic disparities. The words 'access to justice' focus on two basic purposes of the legal system.

  • 1.

    the system must be equally accessible to all

  • 2.

    it must lead to results that are individually and socially just.


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