Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachudhas called for the use of technology to reach out to citizens and for the evolution of judicial institutions.
In a speech at the 18th meeting of the chief justices of the Supreme Courts of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in New Delhi, he highlighted the importance of technology in ensuring that the judiciary is accessible to all citizens, particularly those in remote areas.
The CJI emphasised the need for the judiciary to embrace technology, stating that it has the power to transform the way justice is delivered in India. He noted that technology can be used to ensure that court proceedings are transparent, efficient, and accessible to all, regardless of their location.
Chief Justice DY Chandrachud
Goal is modernisation
In addition to calling for the use of technology, Chief Justice Chandrachud also stressed the importance of evolving judicial institutions. He argued that the goal should be to continually improve and modernise the judiciary, rather than waiting for crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic to force changes.
The CJI said, “There is now a global consensus that justice is not merely a sovereign function but an essential service.” He emphasised how important it is for the judicial system to deliver fair and efficient justice in a prompt manner to all individuals. He stated that as a result, the architecture of smart courts needs to reflect this change, and that technology needs to be used as an important enabler to reach out to citizens and provide justice as an essential service.
The Chief Justice’s remarks reflect a growing recognition of the need for technology in the Indian judiciary. In recent years, courts across India have increasingly turned to technology to improve the efficiency and accessibility of the justice system. For example, the Supreme Court of India has introduced e-filing and video conferencing for hearings, and several state High Courts have launched online case tracking systems.
However, Chief Justice Chandrachud’s comments also highlight the challenges that remain. Despite the progress made in recent years, access to technology remains limited in many parts of India, particularly in rural areas. Moreover, there are concerns about the quality of technology being used, particularly in lower courts.
To address these challenges, Chief Justice Chandrachudcalled for a concerted effort to ensure that technology is widely accessible and of high quality. He suggested that the judiciary could partner with the private sector to develop technology solutions that are tailored to the needs of the Indian justice system.
In line with the CJI’s comments, the Government of India remains committed to modernising the justice system through the use of technology. The Government has pledged to modernise and expand access to justice through technology.
Despite the progress made in recent years, access to technology remains limited in many parts of India, particularly in rural areas. Moreover, there are concerns about the quality of technology being used, particularlyDespite the progress made in recent years, access to technology remains limited in many parts of India, particularly in rural areas. Moreover, there are concerns about the quality of technology being used, particularly in lower courts
The Ministry of Law and Justice unveiled the National Judicial Data Grid, eCourts, e-LokAdalat and the National Legal Services Authority’s Tele-Law programme, which aim to provide legal aid and resolve disputes through technology and improve the Indian justice system transparency, efficiency, and accessibility.
In conclusion, Chief Justice Chandrachud’s speech underscores the importance of technology in the Indian judiciary and the need for the judiciary to continually evolve and modernise. While there are challenges to be addressed, there is also cause for optimism, as courts across India have shown a growing willingness to embrace technology and innovate in the pursuit of justice.