Judicial institutions should oppose adoption of newer means of technology: Justice DY Chandrachud
Justice DY Chandrachudwhile myself”Self Confessed Geek on Technology“Given a speech on the importance of technology in the judicial system at the closing ceremony of the first All India District Legal Services Authority meeting.
On the importance of adopting technology in judicial processes, Justice Chandrachud said that the Supreme Court, High Courts and district courts have been very reticent on the use of modern means of communication including Twitter and Telegram channels. Highlighting the need to change this, he said-
,Our resistance to using the means of communication has to change. We can reach out to our citizens by using the language of discourse, which is becoming so prevalent in the society. Unless we let go of this resistance to the adoption of means of communication in the form of judicial institutions, which are so pervasive in our society, we would have lost the game… we are already in the process of losing the game. That we do not let go of the fear of what will happen if we use modern means of communication.,
Justice Chandrachud also addressed the reservation judges who were against the adoption of live streaming of their proceedings. They said that –
,Judges across the board wonder what will happen when I start live streaming my court proceedings? Will people start judging us? Will we lose our sense of community respect? Yes, of course, some of us will lose the respect of the community. But we will lose the respect of the community by showing the world how we treat ourselves when we sit there. We have to change the way we work. There is a world of accountability at large and I think, we can earn the respect of the community at large, provided we adopt and come across those platforms which are so prevalent in our society. The judicial system cannot be left behind. We have to be the harbingers of change.,
Through his address, he highlighted the need to ‘institutionalise procedures’ and set up systems and procedures in a manner that treats all cases equally, regardless of the parties to the dispute, the police station said. Forensic science laboratory reported or involved in the process. He further added that it is also important to bring a sense of accountability to the decision makers themselves and to oversee the implementation. Ultimately, Justice Chandrachud said it aims to enhance quality, transparency and access to justice.
Emphasizing on the importance of technology, he also highlighted the limitation of technology by saying that even though we have 500 million smartphone users in India, on the other end of the spectrum, we also have 800 million people who have access to smartphones. Not there. Thus, he said that it was up to the institutions to provide access to justice to the individuals.
Explaining the role of technology in ensuring access to justice, he spoke about the current mechanism adopted by the Indian judiciary. He said that the core of the e-courts project was ‘Case Information Software (CIS)’. He said that with the integration of CIS with NALSA and District Legal Services Authority, court records, information of convicts and undertrials, jail petitions, appeals, status of pending other things would be immediately available to the Legal Services Authorities. He explained it in more detail and said that-
,We do not need to plan that prisons should make data available to legal service authorities, but that legal service institutions should be able to retrieve data without any state interference. In technical terms the solution is very simple, you use what is called API- Application Programming Interface. So that once an API is available to NALSA or District/State Legal Services Authority, you can retrieve every element of information from CIS which maps the database of crores of pending and disposed cases and then you can actually You can create your own solution.,
Justice Chandrachud also said that the e-jail software developed by the Ministry of Home Affairs in association with the National Informatics Center also provides a mechanism for sharing the data of undertrials. He said that the process of designing to evolve a proper mechanism for maintaining the data of undertrials, including the date of imprisonment, the Act under which the arrest has taken place, the maximum imprisonment provided for offenses under section as well as etc. are included. He highlighted that they were in the process of devising an alert mechanism for the judge about the status of undertrials, including information about undertrials who have undergone the maximum term of imprisonment.
Highlighting the importance of using technology to ‘talk to each other’, he said-
,We don’t need to talk to each other personally, but we have to use technology to connect our institutions so that those who need justice don’t have to reach out to us, but that we reach out to all those people. Provide access to those who need justice,
He said that NALSA and District Legal Services Authorities would be greatly benefited by monitoring the status of convicts using data on the National Judicial Data Grid. Among the facilities for monitoring the convicts being developed in the National Judicial Data Grid, are the list of convicts lodged in various jails under the jurisdiction of the respective High Courts and District Courts. He said that an important aspect of this was the training and outreach program for both citizens and advocates through DLSA and TLSA.
Appealing everyone to participate in these programs, he said that-
,We have calendars and our calendar accounts for district level quarterly e-court events at all district headquarters through DLSA, taluka level quarterly e-court events at all taluk levels through TLSA, and in 10 villages in each village There are level e-court programs. Taluk through TLSA for common citizens. We have special e-court awareness programs for DLSAs, paralegal volunteers and panel lawyers and special campaigns for taluka level advocates and e-court awareness programs at taluk and village level.,
He concluded his address by saying that most of the work done in the field of human interaction needs to be institutionalised.