While inaugurating the ‘online e-inspection’ software facility in the Delhi High Court, Chief Justice of India Dr D Y Chandrachud emphasised that technological advancements made in the judicial system should be designed to meet the ends of all users.
At the event, the CJI said the Delhi HC has always been at the forefront of digitisation. He said that although the Supreme Court lays down the law for the entire country, it is the Delhi High Court which has been way ahead in terms of facilities provided to the judges as well as litigants and lawyers. He added that the new software was one such aspect of modernisation of court through information technology, which the HC had achieved.
Justice Shakdher, the chairman of the IT committee at the HC, said that from paperless courts to VC hearings, the e-inspection software “completes the digital environment” as now sitting at home or in offices, an entire digitised file can be inspected. He touched on the live streaming features of HC proceedings the rules for which were recently notified, saying that the apparatus is on the “anvil”.
The CJI emphasised his mission to facilitate the creation of a “new band of judges who would be looking for the future of the Indian judiciary” stating that the ideas received by younger judges of the HC had impressed him. The CJI said he had constituted the monitoring and implementation committee as part of the e-committee of the SC which has judges from several HCs across the country. On the e-inspection facility, he said that inspection can happen instantly from anywhere, saving time and reducing burden. “It is a step in the right direction of a sustainable transformation of the justice delivery system,” he said, adding that the next step would be implementing it in all HCs, SC and district courts.
Speaking on some of the new initiatives undertaken by the SC as part of the technology mission, the CJI said that “JustIS” mobile application gives free access to the entirety of the court record and information about the cases which can be accessed by advocates, journalists and every stakeholder. In line with the newly launched RTI portal by the Supreme Court, the CJI requested all HCs to have their own RTI portal to make the process of disclosure of information about our courts streamline and accessible. He further emphasised the need to provide the translation of judgments in regional languages.
He said, “We must understand that the language that we use, namely English, is not comprehensible, particularly in its legal avatar, to 99.9% of our citizens. Access to justice cannot be meaningful unless the citizens are able to access and understand in a language which they speak and comprehend the judgments that we deliver whether in HC or the SC,” and said that a committee has been constituted to oversee the translation of supreme court judgements in four languages; Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati and Oriya.
Before concluding, the CJI urged the Delhi High Court to keep doing what they were doing and said, “You are being watched and followed as well”.
The event was attended by the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Satish Chandra Sharma; Justice Rajiv Shakdher, IT Committee members Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva; Justice Sanjeev Narula and Justice Talwant Singh among others.