Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Friday termed outgoing Supreme Court judge Justice A M Khanwilkar as a “hard-working and disciplined judge” and “a strong proponent for the use of technology” in the judiciary.
Addressing a farewell event organised for the judge, the CJI said “his work ethic is clear for all to see. He has authored over 187 judgments and disposed of nearly 8,446 cases in Supreme Court”.
The CJI recalled that in the case Swapnil Tripathy vs Supreme Court of India, Justice Khanwilkar, “writing for the majority, made live-streaming of Court proceedings a possibility”.
Writing for the bench also comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice Khanwilkar had in the 2018 judgment said “slow as we have been to adapt to the complexities of our age, it is necessary for the judiciary to move apace with technology. By embracing technology, we would only promote a greater degree of confidence in the judicial process”.
The CJI also recalled that Justice Khanwilkar “was a part of the Constitution Bench in Public Interest Foundation vs Union of India which made the disclosure of criminal antecedents of contesting candidates mandatory” and “in Kalpana Mehta vs Union of India…which held that judicial notice of Parliamentary Standing Committee Reports can be taken”.
Ever since he took over the chairmanship of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee in August 2021, Justice Khanwilkar also actively promoted the use of technology in the functioning of the committee. “He conceptualised and launched the SCLSC Online Portal to enable access to justice for all”, the CJI pointed out.
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Recalling his efforts to digitise the Madhya Pradesh HC, the CJI said that even in the SC, Justice Khanwilkar was at the forefront of the digitisation initiative and played “a significant role in…the launch of the Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records (FASTER) software” as member, and then as Chairman, of the Computerisation Committee.