The 12th Memorial Lecture

Every year, since its inception, the Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation invites an eminent person to deliver a lecture on the theme of human rights and gender justice.

For 2006, the twelfth annual memorial lecture was delivered by Hon'ble Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, then President of India. Dr kalam spoke on Judiciary & Its Multi-Dimensions at the India Habital Center. Hon'ble Shri Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, the then Chief guest.

Paying rich tribute to Sunanda Bhandare as a person sensitive to discrimination against women, Dr. Kalam recounted that Justice Bhandare often told her friends, "A women has to excel before she can be regarded as equal to man." He said she fervently believed the famous edict that a women's place in society marks the level of its civilization."

Dr. Kalam also referred to Sunanda Bhandare's paper titled, Judges as Instrument of Social Change presented at the Conference of National Association of Women Judges in Washington. He said it contained important messages for members of the judiciary and legal community.

Justice Bhandare's approach to the dispensation of justice was characterized by conscientious feel for the total welfare of each individual and was completely devoid of any malice or even the slightest tinge of retribution, he said Dr. Kalam covered the vast canvas of the multi-dimensions of the judiciary. He referred to the challenges before the country in uplifting 220 million of its people who live below the poverty line. Dr. Kalam also urged civil society to combat the evil of terrorism and ensure the growth of a nation with a human face.

He said the judiciary had a significant role to play as the provider of justice and the conscience- keeper of citizen in enabling equity, justice and order. He spoke of the need to reduce conflicts by providing fast and cost effective resolutions; providing legal literacy and awareness to citizens; extending all help to the needy sections of society; and setting ethical standards for the rest of society. He said the nation cherished and looked up to the judiciary with its reputation for excellence and impeccable integrity.

In the course of his address, Dr. Kalam was outlined some positive developments in our society and said these developments would help in the justice delivery system. These included, the Right to Information Act mobile legal aid and Look Adalats, the potential of e-judiciary, laws driven by national priorities and landmark judgments on the environment.

Concluding his address, Dr. Kalam was optimistic by saying India will become an economical ly developed nation. But an economically developed status alone has not brought happy societal life in a real sense in many countries. Thus it was important for India to also build values based on our civilizational heritage In the evolution of society. "It is said that a nation fails not because of economic progress but because of an increase in decision maker with small minds, "he said.

In his address, Y.K Sabharwal, Chief Justice of India recalled his long association with Justice Bhandare, who he described as a judge with a robust common sense and champion of gender equality.