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Use of technology amid pandemic gives rare opportunity to transform legal system: SC judge


Virtual courts, digital workplaces and electronic case management amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have provided a rare opportunity to embrace technology to transform our legal system, Supreme Court judge Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud said. The use of technology will make the legal system more “efficient, inclusive, accessible and environmentally sustainable”, he said.

Justice Chandrachud, also the chairperson of the apex court’s e-committee, made the observations while writing the foreword of the manual for use of free ‘e-Courts Services’ mobile application in 14 languages. The e-committee released the manuals in English and regional languages, explaining all features of the app with screenshots for easy understanding for the common man.

The languages include English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarathi, Kannada, Khasi, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.

The app released recently has already crossed 57 lakh downloads, a press release issued on Sunday said.

Justice Chandrachud stressed upon the importance of the free mobile app and highlighted the reach of this citizen-centric initiative.

“The e-committee of the Supreme Court has been at the forefront of introducing digital reforms in the field of law. In the past one year, the pandemic has also pushed advocates, judges and litigants to adopt high-tech solutions due to the closure of offices and courts in light of lockdowns and public health concerns.

“Working remotely, virtual courts, digital workplaces and electronic case management have become integral to how the legal profession is practiced and conducted. This has given us a rare opportunity to embrace technology not just as an interim measure, but to transform our legal system to make it more efficient, inclusive, accessible and environmentally sustainable,” he said.

The Justice added that the e-Courts Services mobile application was a step in this direction.

“The application will pave the way for optimising our legal system in an ever-evolving digital world,” he said.

Barun Mitra, secretary, Department of Justice, who has also written the foreword of the manual, highlighted the importance of electronic case management tools for advocates.

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