'Supreme Court Is Of The Entire Nation, Not Just Of Tilak Marg' : CJI DY Chandrachud On Making Court Accessible For Those Outside Delhi
While speaking at an event in Madurai, the Chief Justice of India Dr. DY Chandrachud said that he had been striving to ensure that the Supreme Court is accessible to lawyers and students all over the country. The CJI was speaking at the event to lay the foundation stone for additional court buildings in the District Court campus at Madurai and Inauguration of the District and Sessions...
While speaking at an event in Madurai, the Chief Justice of India Dr. DY Chandrachud said that he had been striving to ensure that the Supreme Court is accessible to lawyers and students all over the country. The CJI was speaking at the event to lay the foundation stone for additional court buildings in the District Court campus at Madurai and Inauguration of the District and Sessions Court and Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Mayiladuthurai.
I have been striving to ensure access to Supreme Court for lawyers and students who do not reside in Delhi. I always say that the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Court of Tilak Marg but the Supreme Court of the entire nation., he said.
The CJI was replying to a request made by Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu MK Stalin for establishing regional benches for Supreme Court in the cities like Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata.
CJI Chandrachud replied that he had been striving to ensure access to all by introducing hybrid systems which ensured that lawyers could appear before the Supreme Court from anywhere in the country thus ensuring a seamless connection between the judges and the advocates.
"We have introduced a hybrid system by which lawyers can appear before the SC both physically and virtually. This facility enables seamless connection between a judge sitting in New Delhi and an advocate residing in Vellore or Virudhanagar", CJI said.
He also pointed out that with the introduction of live streaming of constitutional cases, law students who are unable to pursue internships in Delhi owing to distance and financial constraints could still watch the proceedings and get educated on how the law is evolved by the Supreme Court. This, according to the CJI would be a welcome step to bridge the barrier.
"In an attempt to localise the justice delivery system and bring it closer to the citizens, we have started translating judgements in other official languages recognised by the constitution including Tamil with the aid of AI. I hope that this will go a long way in not only bringing courts closer to the citizen but would also help lawyers, not conversant with English language to keep up with the developments in law", he said.
The CJI also spoke of how the increase in the usage of modern technology has helped in reaching out to the citizens. Laying down the statistics during the pandemic, he said that between March 23rd 2020 and 13th February 2023, the Supreme court was able to hear 4,13,537 cases through the video conferencing facility while the high courts and District judiciary were able to hear 2.62 crore cases.
The use of this modern technology has helped us to reach out to our citizens. Opening up the facilities of the Supreme Court to lawyers all over the country has also enabled a reduction in cost. Technology has thus helped to make the Supreme Court truly a National Court.
The CJI also appreciated the state of Tamil Nadu for leading the way in boosting the infrastructure of the court system. He pointed out how last year the State had laid the foundation for a nine-storeyed court building project and within less than a year, it had another project for bettering the infrastructure of the courts.
The CJI mentioned how most of the court complexes in the country lacked basic infrastructure. There were no proper washrooms for lawyers or sanitary napkin dispensers for lady lawyers. Thus, it was necessary to look into the issue of the development of infrastructure as a comfortable working environment also enhanced the work output.
CJI also responded to a request made by the Chief Minister to increase representation in the judiciary. He pointed out that the Collegium recently have been making conscious efforts to increase the representation of women and marginalized groups.
"Supreme Court in my mind is truly a Supreme Court which represents the nation and we are making a conscious effort that different High Courts, different regions of the nation find representation in the Supreme Court", he said.
Supreme Court judge Justice V Ramasubramanian (who hails from Tamil Nadu), Union Minister of Law & Justice Kiren Rijiju also spoke at the function.