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Looking for pigeons to communicate: Supreme Court plans electronic channel to send orders faster

“In this age of information and communication technology, we are still looking at the skies for the pigeons to communicate the orders,” Chief Justice N V Ramana said.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
July 17, 2021 12:23:08 am
The Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court Friday announced a plan to set up a system for swift and secure electronic transmission of its rulings to jail authorities so that prisoners who have been granted relief are not left waiting for a certified order copy in order to be released.

“In this age of information and communication technology, we are still looking at the skies for the pigeons to communicate the orders,” Chief Justice N V Ramana said.

A bench headed by him had taken suo motu cognisance of the delay in the release of 13 prisoners from Agra Central Jail despite the court granting them bail on July 8.

The bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and A S Bopanna, Friday said it is contemplating a system — ‘FASTER’ — to address the issue.

“We are in times of use of technology. We are under contemplation of a scheme called FASTER: Fast and Secure Transmission of Electronic Records. It is meant to communicate all orders to concerned jail authorities without waiting”, the CJI said.

Attorney General K K Venugopal welcomed the announcement.

CJI Ramana said he will direct the Supreme Court Secretary General to place a report in two weeks, “so we’ll try to implement the scheme in a month”.

On delays in release of prisoners even after they are granted relief, the CJI said: “It is just too much”.

“This is wrong”, added the AG.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, however, pointed out that there are instances of fake and fabricated orders being used, because of which jail authorities insist on authenticated copies.

He added that the Supreme Court could direct jail authorities to treat the order uploaded on its website as the authenticated copy.

On the new plan, the top court said it wanted a response from all state governments as the transmission would become impossible unless jails have internet connectivity.

The court also asked Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave to assist it as an amicus curiae in the matter.

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