If the headquarters of the United States’ Department of Defense at Pentagon can have WiFi facility, why can’t it be installed in the Supreme Court, a top apex court judge asked.
“If Pentagon could work with a WiFi, what is the difficulty for any other institution to have the facility in process,” Justice J Chelameswar, the third senior-most judge, said while speaking at a function in New Delhi. He was speaking at the launch ceremony of the ‘integrated case management system’ on the official website of the Supreme Court in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Chief Justice of India J S Khehar.
“The Supreme Court premises is not provided with the WiFi facility. Somebody planted an idea into a former Chief Justice’s mind that it could expose the Supreme Court to a security threat as information could leak out,” he said. Justice Chelameswar hailed the new digitised system of filing cases in the Supreme Court and termed it as a “great step” since the commencement of computerisation of the judicial system nearly 20 years ago.
Referring to his experience in the apex court three years ago, he said “I was a member of the bench along with Justices Chauhan and Kurian Joseph. We were hearing a matter. The stakes were heavy, the questions of law were complicated, the who’s who of the Indian Bar was there in the case and it goes without saying and, incidently I always joke in the court hall that Indian Judiciary is one of the greatest destroyers of ecology in this country.
“The amount of paper which we waste and there is a lot of duplication as well. All of us who are associated with the judiciary know it, perhaps the Law Minister knows it as he was a practicing lawyer, the Prime Minister would never have seen it. You must only see to believe, Prime Minister, the amount of paper which is used in the court halls, especially in the Supreme Court.
“Tonnes of papers were filed in that particular case. Lot of duplication was there. I asked the counsel why don’t you put it on e-form. Eventually in that particular case, all the material was put on a pen-drive and handed over to us. This is what happens.
“I am sure this programme (of the Supreme Court) would give a great impetus for the computerisation of the system,” he said.