“Affordability of legal services is an issue on which there should be constant focus in legal circles so that the right for judicial opportunity is not compromised due to high costs,” Patil said.
Court fees and high lawyers fees are impinging on the decision to opt for a legal remedy, she said in her inaugural address at the two-day National Conference of All India Federation of Women Lawyers in Kochi on Monday.
Art 39A of the Constitution calls for free legal aid to those who cannot access justice due to economic or other disabilities.
Access to quick, inclusive and quality justice is the key to achieve this objective. Government has taken several steps to make free legal service available for the poor, disadvantaged and others. Women lawyers should devote some time to contribute to these efforts to secure legal services for women and those who are vulnerable, she said.
Legal reforms should address procedural aspects so that justice delivery mechanisms can be easily understood by the public, Patil said.
The system can be made more transparent, effective and people oriented. Innovative mechanisms are required to reduce delays in legal proceedings, including revising legal codes and old and outdated laws besides strengthening institutional aspects of the judiciary, she said.