SC plans expansion of infra; e-Courts to offer national link
The Chief Justice of India (CJI) claims that an “overhaul” of the court infrastructure is required as a matter of priority to make them more inclusive and accessible. She also adds that new initiatives will modernize judicial infrastructure.
A comprehensive proposal to upgrade the Supreme Court’s facilities was unveiled by the Chief Justice. The plan is for creating a new structure that will hold amenities for attorneys and litigants in addition to an additional 27 courtrooms, 51 judge’s chambers, four registrar courtrooms, and 16 registrar chambers. There will be two phases to this expansion.
What was the requirement for the upgradation?
- More Courtrooms: Having access to more courtrooms is essential. Chief Justice Chandrachud emphasized that the Supreme Court currently only has 17 courtrooms, which is insufficient. 27 more courtrooms will be built, according to the plan, to handle the increasing volume of cases.
- Judges’ Chambers: There is a need for 51 judge’s chambers in addition to the additional courtrooms. The judges must use these chambers to carry out their duties, review cases, and consult with legal teams.
- Registrar Court Rooms and Chambers: Four registrar courtrooms and 16 registrar chambers would be built, according to the proposal. Administrative issues and case management are often handled in registrar courtrooms, while registrar chambers are locations where court officials can oversee administrative work.
- Facilities for Lawyers and Litigants: As part of the expansion, facilities for lawyers and litigants will be provided. It may also include facilities for the legal procedure, such as waiting lounges and consulting rooms.
- Infrastructure for technology: Chief Justice Chandrachud underlined the value of technology in modernizing the legal system. Phase 3 of the e-Courts project, which intends to connect all courts nationwide, digitize records, construct paperless courts, and develop cutting-edge e-sewa kendras (service centres), will be implemented as part of the plan.
- Accessibility & Inclusivity: Another goal of the update is to make the court’s facilities and services accessible to those with impairments. Guarantee that people with visual impairments can access court services, this involves steps like putting in place a website and case files that can be read on a screen.
How is it going help the Judicial system?
- Increased Capacity: The Supreme Court’s capacity to handle cases will be greatly increased with the building of 27 courtrooms and accompanying facilities. More courtrooms could assist shorten wait times and case backlogs given the current caseload and expanding litigation.
- Reduced Case Backlog: With more capacity, cases may be handled more quickly and with greater case management effectiveness. This can aid in resolving the enduring problem of the case backlog, which frequently causes delays in the administration of justice.
- Faster Disposal of Cases: Cases can be resolved more quickly if there are more courtrooms and judge’s chambers available. This will enable judges to handle more cases concurrently. This may contribute to cases being resolved more quickly, advancing the cause of prompt justice.
- Enhanced Accessibility: The emphasis placed in the expansion plan on accessibility and inclusion, including actions for those with impairments, may make the legal system more open and accessible to a wider spectrum of people. This is consistent with the idea of fair access to justice.
- Efficiency through Technology: The case management procedure can be streamlined by integrating technology, such as paperless courts and digital records. This lessens the need for paper documents, improves data accuracy, and expedites administrative procedures.
- Enhanced Judicial Infrastructure: Upgrading and expanding courthouses can create a setting that is more accommodating for juries, attorneys, and litigants. An effective and cosy work environment can be enhanced by properly furnished courtrooms and chambers.
What are the benefits of going digital and Paperless?
- Effective Communication: Connected courts provide for smooth communication between the judiciary’s various tiers. By electronically exchanging information, papers, and updates, judges, attorneys, and other parties can cut down on delays brought on by paper-based documentation.
- Faster case transfers: Digital records and connected courts make it possible to move cases from one court to another more quickly and accurately. Due to the ease of access to and electronic transfer of pertinent information, disputes may be resolved more quickly as a result.
- Remote view: Authorized workers can view case information remotely thanks to digital records and connected courts. For those who may need to work remotely, such as attorneys, litigants, and judges, this can be especially useful.
- Reduced documentation: Transitioning to digital documentation lessens the need for physical documents. This results in time savings, lower administrative expenses, and a move toward a more ecologically responsible strategy
- Enhanced Case management: Better case management is made possible by digital records and networked courts. Judges can handle court dockets more effectively, schedule hearings, and monitor the status of cases.
- Data Accuracy: The likelihood of errors and document loss is lower with digital records. Standardized and automated data entry helps provide accurate and consistent information throughout all situations.