Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud said on Tuesday technology has become a powerful tool in the legal system for improving efficiency, accessibility and accuracy in the administration of justice.
He said the success of any initiative and innovation depends on the ability to collaborate with stakeholders and incorporate critical feedback of those who will be using it.
Justice Chandrachud, who was speaking at the inauguration of ‘Online e-Inspection Software’ of the Delhi High Court, said the Delhi High Court has been at the forefront of modernising courts across the country with information technology. He said even the first paperless court in the country was established in Delhi HC in 2009.
“Today's inauguration completes the digitisation loop. The Delhi High Court has been at the forefront on e-filing, digitisation, virtual courts and now to provide for inspection of the digitised records completes the entire circle. In many ways I believe that we (at the Supreme Court) lay down law for the whole country. "The Delhi High Court is way ahead of the Supreme Court in the facilities which are provided not just to the judges but to lawyers and to the litigants as well,” he said, adding “You are being watched and followed as well”.
Justice Chandrachud said the apex court has constituted a monitoring and implementation committee to shoulder a part of his burden and several judges of the high courts are involved in it.
“...Because I thought that we must pass on the baton to the younger generation and create administrative skills, the capacity for learning, the capacity for understanding India beyond the confines of our own high courts.
"So, before I deal with what we are here for today, I must share with you that part of my mission is that our work in the Supreme Court must also be facilitative to create a new band of judges who will be looking for the future of the Indian judiciary. And what better way to equip our young judges for the future of the nation and of our judiciary than to really get them involved in national projects which we are doing,” he said.
Chandrachud added that instead of holding these projects close to "our heart in the Supreme Court", he thinks the important need of the hour is for us to open up to new ideas, and the ideas which are given by the young judges of the high court are mind boggling.
“…the kind of input, which I get from younger judges of the high courts from across India, really is a cause for great optimism for the future of the Indian judiciary,” the CJI said.
He further said the IT resolution constitutes a resource which has changed the way we work together and envisage the justice delivery mechanism.
Chandrachud said technological innovations by the judicial system should be designed to meet the needs of all its users – judges, court staff, lawyers, litigants, community leaders, researchers and the public at large.
“Technology has become a powerful tool in the legal system in improving efficiency, accessibility and accuracy in the administration of justice. However, the success of any initiative and innovation, whether in law or in technology depends on the ability to collaborate with stakeholders and incorporate critical feedback of those who will be using it,” the CJI said.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher of the Delhi High Court, the chairman of the IT committee of the high court, said the e-software was a significant step as with this a person while sitting at home or office can inspect the entire case file electronically which can be saved like in PDF form.
He said the Delhi High Court has decided it will not start live streaming till they have the requisite wherewithal.
Justice Chandrachud said the district judiciary plays a crucial role in ensuring access to justice for citizens of grassroots and e-inspection of judicial records at the district level would reduce the dependence on physical document handling and allow to move beyond the constraints of space.
He also spoke about the initiatives taken by him since he took over as the CJI on November 9, 2022.