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Supreme Court E-Committee Finalizing Rules For Live Streaming : Justice Chandrachud

Srishti Ojha
9 April 2021 4:26 PM GMT
Supreme Court E-Committee Finalizing Rules For Live Streaming : Justice Chandrachud
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Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud on Friday said that the e-committee of the top Court is in the process of finalising its rules for live streaming of court proceedings. He further added that the Gujarat High Court has already initiated a pilot project.The observation was made by Justice Chandrachud during the event to inaugurate the new website for Judgments and e-Filing 3.0...

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Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud on Friday said that the e-committee of the top Court is in the process of finalising its rules for live streaming of court proceedings. He further added that the Gujarat High Court has already initiated a pilot project.

The observation was made by Justice Chandrachud during the event to inaugurate the new website for Judgments and e-Filing 3.0 conducted by the e-Committee of Supreme Court of India.

It was in 2018 that the Supreme Court approved in principle the concept of live-streaming of important court hearings. However, it is yet to be implemented. Gujarat High Court is the only court which live-streams the proceedings. At present, the proceedings in the Chief Justice's court of the Gujarat High Court are being live streamed in YouTube.

 Justice DY Chandrachud, who is also the Chairperson of e-Committee said that the importance of the event lies in their efforts to provide an end to end integration for lawyer, litigants and the court system.

Justice Chandrachud clarified that the purpose of these initiatives is not to replace the system of ora hearing, but to make services more friendly to the Bar, for litigants for whom they exist.

He shared an incident where he received a little protest from one of the Delhi's Bar expressed apprehension if by this event they were replacing oral hearing by a system of virtual hearing.

"Let me assuage to all members of Bar, for someone like me who holds everything to the Bar, nothing could be further from my mind than to replace the strength of open court system"

Justice Chandrachud shared that an important initiative taken over by the e-Committee was to have a collaborative mission with the High court, in furtherance of which the ownership of this projects vests with the high Courts. He added the e committee is only using its position as facilitators, guide and friend snd act like an interface between funds provided by Government of India and their utilisation by the High Court.

Justice Chandrachud stated that the video conferencing were initiated as a platform to answer problems of pandemic, again not to replace oral hearings but to ensure that courts were functional and available to those whose rights were being infringed. Thereafter rules for VC hearings were drafted.

Referring to the digitisation being carried out by the High Courts, Justice Chandrachud stated that the Secretary-General of the Supreme Court had mentioned last year that the problem with this mission was that High Courts were conducting their individual digitisation, and there is a need for a national uniform pattern for Digitisation.

Therefore, the committee was constituted assisted by C-DAC and an SOP for digitisation has been prepared and will be finalised in a week.

Justice Chandrachud stated that another important mission of the Committee is the Knowledge platform, for which a Committee has been constituted headed by Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya and also has Justice Pratibha Singh.

"The committee has been formed to create a module of how judicial system should be dealing with marginalised, women litigants, victims of gender violence, and what should courts do to make them more open and friendly to all diverse stakeholders in system.

A preliminary report has been submitted and we are in process of opening it out for suggestions and implementation." Justice Chandrachud said.

Justice Chandrachud further said that have been deeply conscious of fact over pandemic that there has been a digital divide in the country. AG Venugopal in e committee meeting last year mentioned its important for us to train lawyers all of the country

Justice Chandrachud further said that the E-Committee's Human Resources member Ms Arulmozhiselvi has devised a training module as result of which master trainers across the country have been trained. These master trainers are carrying on mission of training lawyers down to Taluka level and not merely seats of the HC.

This step has been taken in consideration of AG Venugopal's suggested given in e committee meeting last year where he mentioned that its important for us to train lawyers all of the country

Justice Chandrachud added that purpose of launching e-seva Kendra is that facilities available under e-courts project be made available to litigants who don't have access to information technology.

"So we don't put burden of obtaining access to justice on citizens and lawyers. We take that burden and responsibility on ourselves. The idea is that every Court complex must have infra-structurally provided and duly manned E-seva Kendra." Justice Chandrachud said.

Justice Chandrachud stated that for the current project he had set up an expert committee with both private sector experts and experts within the judiciary, as he believes that ownership of this project is not confined within the Judiciary.

Justice Chandrachud added that through thus platform, Court fee wallet could be used by lawyers from their office. There are training videos to train the lawyers.

"We cannot be successful unless the lawyers are on board. Involvement of Bar is critical for success of project" Justice Chandrachud said.

Referring to the open APIs, Justice Chandrachud stated that they have opened up e-courts data to all institutional litigants. The government, as we know is the largest institutional litigant in the country, and the purpose of open APIs is so all state govt, local bodies, financial institutions can freely access their data and monitor the pendency of their litigation.

Justice Chandrachud informed that the Committee has begun the process of integrating land records with case information software. CIS has been integrated with land records data in Maharashtra and UP, and also integrated with portal of Ministry of Corporate affairs for fetching company related information specially email information to send summons.

This has been done on a pilot basis in commercial courts of Bombay and is in process of implementation in Delhi Commercial Courts.

Justice Chandrachud concluded by saying that, this is project is a collaborative effort of Government of India, State Government, High Courts, and e-Committee of the Supreme Court.

"The launch of this portal is beginning made by e committee, I am sure there are glitches. No technology is free from glitches. We would be only happy to resolve the glitches" Justice Chandrachud said.

Dr. Neeta Verma, Director General, National Informatics Centre during the event said that in the present platform, data from High Court National Judicial data grid has been leveraged to develop this judgement search portal. Its combined with textual data for judgement, free text search, etc and multiple facilities

He also stated that the current application will immensely reduce efforts of digitisation in courts and reduce travel time and costs required for commission of papers required in Court by both lawyers and citizens


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