Use of electronic gadgets should be allowed in the Courts, says CJI Chandrachud

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On March 1, 2023, Chief Justice of India DY Chandracud, while speaking at a virtual inauguration ceremony said that the judges should be allowed to work on electronic gadgets in the courtrooms. The virtual inauguration ceremony was of administrative block and e-initiatives of Calcutta High Court. The CJI also highlighted his personal motive for the use of technology in courtrooms is mainly for fulfilling the needs of tomorrow. During his speech, CJI recalled the time when mobile phones were banned inside various courtrooms and now they are ubiquitous in society. In this context, the CJI said “And here we are today releasing a mobile application for the High Court but we have to be kind on ourselves as just we have to be kind to the members of the bar and the litigants. Just the other day I heard not a complaint or a grievance but a little bit of a suggestion 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’ and I said that we are carrying our discipline too far.”   

CJI Chandrachud then said that as far as technology or electronic gadgets are being used for work, full support should be provided to them by setting up internet facilities and maintaining firewalls for making the facility genuine and authorized. CJI further highlighted the benefits of using mobiles and mobile applications, “If a litigant wants to check the status of their kids, for example, they will find far easier to use the mobile app than the web browser. In these small ways, technology makes the justice more accessible to all the strata of society.” During his speech, the Chief Justice of India mentioned that over 7000 crores have been allocated in the recent budget for making plans for the e-Courts project for good purposes. In his speech, the CJI also listed the project e-SCR launched by the Supreme Court and suggested the Calcutta High Court for launching something similar so as to make judgments easily available.   

Concluding his speech, CJI Chandrachud said “These initiatives will not only truly make us a court of record as I said, but going beyond that they will foster the cause of legal education by enabling our law colleges not merely to have a look at the written word or the text of the judgments, but the antecedent material in the form of arguments which are made by lawyers so as to give a new understanding or appreciation of the work which we as judges do.”

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