अख़बार की दुनिया मे बेबाक़ी का सबसे बड़ा कलेजा

【 RNI-HIN/2013/51580 】
【 RNI-MPHIN/2009/31101 】


Lawyers Should be Allowed to Use iPads for Work During Proceedings, Trusting Responsibility: CJI DY Chandrachud

03 Mar 2023

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Lawyers should be allowed to use electronic devices like iPads and laptops inside courtrooms provided they are using it for constructive purpose and not for watching movies, Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud said on Wednesday.

The CJI said that discipline and decorum in courts should not be stretched to such an extent so as to have an absolute bar on such devices inside courtrooms.

"A young junior or a young lawyer or any lawyer for that matter working on an iPad within the pressings of the courtroom should be allowed to work on it so long as they're not watching movies on the on the iPad, on their laptops. But we must trust people."

He then narrated a recent incident where an usher had rebuked a junior lawyer for using iPad inside courtroom.

"Just the other day I heard a grievance from a young junior who was working on her iPad in a courtroom in one of our premier High Courts. While working on her iPad, the usher of the court came to the young junior and said, 'you have to switch off your iPad because this is not in accordance with the discipline of the Court.' I said that we are carrying our discipline too far."

The CJI was speaking at the virtual inauguration ceremony of a new administrative block and various e-initiatives including a mobile application and virtual justice clock of the Calcutta High Court.

In his address, the CJI also stressed upon the need to set up internet facilities in courts with adequate firewalls.

In this context, he highlighted recent initiatives of the top court like the E-SCR project and oral transcription of proceedings in some cases.

He pointed out that in the current age, litigants and lawyers find it easy to access case details on mobiles which also make the justice system more accessible.

"Mobile phones are now ubiquitous in society. I remember an era when mobile phones were banned in many courtrooms and here we are today releasing a mobile application for the High Court. But we have to be kind on ourselves just as we have to be kind on the members of the bars and the litigants. Litigants will find the application very useful. The citizenry is able to afford mobile phones more easily than they can afford desktops or laptops. They will find it far easier to use the mobile app than the web browser. In these small ways, technology makes the justice system more accessible to all," the CJI said.

The CJI encouraged the High Court to revamp and modernise its website, like the Supreme Court is also planning to do, since such things need periodic reviews and upgrades.

"Upgradation of the website will ensure that it remains user friendly including for those who are physically challenged."

He also asked the High Court to release judgments in the local languages of the State.

"This would truly ensure that we reach out to our citizens and that our processes become known to our citizens in words in language and in a form which they can truly understand."

The CJI opined that technology must be used so as to face new challenges rather than merely tackle existing ones, and courts must decide on how to properly utilise the funds allocated for the e-Courts project so that the same is fully spent.

"We must begin planning now on how we will utilise the funds, which will be allocated to the judiciary in the State of West Bengal and ensure that these funds are put to use immediately and for good purpose. Otherwise, the funds which are made available to the judiciary will simply lapse and there will be nobody else to blame but us," he said.

Pertinently, the CJI batted for e-inspections of district courts since physical visits can have a negative effect.

"I would encourage the High Court to also ensure that inspection of the district courts can be carried out in a virtual platform. Visits of administrative judges to the district for the purpose of inspection sometimes breeds terror in the hearts of our district judiciary. By making the inspection virtual, we will be able to streamline the process, make it seamless and make it continuous; judges at all levels will certainly welcome this move as it will enable more efficient record keeping and save precious time."

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