PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi on Wednesday applauded the judiciary’s decision to cut down on annual holidays and said it will “increase the common’s man’s faith” in the system, and help the poor in getting justice. “I am obliged (to the judiciary),” he said.
Unveiling the apex court’s Integrated Case Management System, which will enable e-filing of cases, Modi said, “I had met Chief Justice of India J S Khehar in Allahabad recently – he presented detailed statistics on pending cases and requested the judiciary to give some time during vacation. It was wonderful even listening to him – (it was) inspiring too. Reports are now coming in from different parts of the country that many judges in high courts and the Supreme Court have decided to cut down their vacations and dedicate time for the service of the poor.”
He said, “The consequence in terms of the quantum is a different thing, but this kind of feeling strengthens the sense of responsibility and increases the faith of the common man. New India needs this faith.”
The Supreme Court’s summer vacation begins on Thursday, but in a departure from the past, 18 of its 29 judges will work during the 90-day recess.
This will include three Constitution benches of five judges each, which will hear petitions challenging triple talaq, WhatsApp sharing users information with parent company Facebook, and the question of grant of citizenship rights to children of Bangladeshi migrants.
The two vacation benches, which traditionally work during the summer break, will hear urgent matters.
Speaking on the occasion, CJI Khehar said the new system will ensure transparency, provide easier access to information and help reduce the time in filing pleadings. “Every part of the filing process will now be monitored. There will be timelines…. Nobody can manipulate the documents. Litigant can track the status of a case and the orders,” he said.
Khehar said the SC registry will begin e-filing of cases soon after the summer vacation is over in the first week of July.
The project aims to make the Supreme Court paperless, and even paper-books of cases will now be scanned and made available online for use by litigants and the court.
Lauding the judiciary’s efforts to embrace the digital initiative, Modi referred to the question of “mindset” which, he said, is preventing people from embracing technological change.
“The problem lies not with the software or hardware, but with the mindset,” he said. “I don’t feel satisfied until I read the print newspaper. But children today hardly read newspapers— they know everything just by scrolling their phones. The challenge is to adjust with this change.”
Lauding the move to go paperless and focussing on the need to save paper, Modi said, “Research says one A4-size paper consumes 10 litres of water during production.”
Known to devise new acronyms, Modi coined a fresh one today: IT + IT = IT. Expanded, it goes as Information Technology + Indian Talent = India Tomorrow.