Citizens are entitled to know what goes on in the courts, they are entitled to know why cases are adjourned, says Justice DY Chandrachud. He believes it is the basic right of the citizens to know.
“We have formulated live streaming rules so that cases can be live-streamed, the hearings before a court can be live-streamed for the rest of the country,” Justice Chandrachud said, speaking at the inaugural function of B&C Wings of the High Court Annexe Building of Bombay High Court, Bench at Aurangabad. He highlighted that the use of technology is to pave the way for moving into the future.
Justice Chandrachud, the chairperson of the Supreme Court E-Committee, pointed out that virtual courts have been set up across the country. 12 states and union territories including Maharashtra have a virtual court. “As many as 91,000 cases involving traffic challans have been disposed off and 180 crores worth of fine has been realized from citizens who pay fines on the online portal of the virtual courts,” he said. “We provide citizen centric services for common citizens. The service portal which has been created by the E-Committee with the Department of Justice has 75 lakh hits per day and the mobile application has 35 lakh hits per day. 3.85 lakh SMSes and emails are sent by the E-Courts services to the citizens across the nation.”
The Judge said the website, in one year, has had 224 crore transactions. “We propose to set up E-Seva Kendra across India so that all the services under the judicial system will be brought under one roof-virtual courts, e-filing, e-payment, certified copies, process fee.”
He revealed that their next stage in the E-Courts project is the phase 3 document where they propose to digitize as many as 3100 crore documents. “But digitization must go hand-in-hand with e-filing. Because if we don’t have e-filing, five years down the lane we will be digitizing old documents. Bombay, Allahabad, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi will lead the five pilot projects for digitization across the country.”
Furthermore, Justice Chandrachud has written to all High Court Chief Justices that by January 2022, all cases of the government of India and state governments must be e-filed in the district courts and the High Courts. “We are looking at data privacy and access to differently-abled, who cannot see or hear so that they can access our website. Finally, under the interoperable criminal justice system, we are linking every aspect of the administration of criminal justice, namely, prisons, courts, the police station and the forensic science laboratory.”