‘Supreme Court belongs to entire country, not just Tilak Marg’: CJI on making court accessible to people from outside Delhi
Chief Justice of India Dr DY Chandrachud said at an event in Madurai that he is making efforts to ensure that the Supreme Court is accessible to lawyers and students across the country. He also laid the foundation stone for additional court buildings in the District Court Complex at Madurai. Also inaugurated the District and Sessions Court and Chief Judicial Magistrate Court at Mayiladuthurai. In the program, he said, I am trying to ensure the access of lawyers and students who do not live in Delhi to the Supreme Court. I always say that the Supreme Court Tilak Marg is not the Supreme Court, but of the whole country.
In fact, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin had requested to set up regional benches of the Supreme Court in cities like Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata, in response to which the CJI said these things. CJI Chandrachud said that he has introduced a hybrid system to ensure that everyone has access. The hybrid system ensures that lawyers can appear before the Supreme Court from anywhere in the country, thus ensuring a seamless interface between judges and advocates.
He said that with the introduction of live streaming of constitutional cases, law students, who are unable to do internships in Delhi due to distance and financial constraints, can now watch the proceedings and learn how law has evolved in the Supreme Court. goes. He said, “In an effort to localize the justice delivery system and bring it closer to the citizens, we have started translating judgments into other official languages recognized in the Constitution, including Tamil, with the help of AI. I hope this Not only will it bring the courts closer to the citizens, but will also help lawyers who are not conversant with the English language.”
The CJI in his speech explained how the increasing use of modern technology has helped in reaching out to the citizens. Citing figures for the pandemic era, he said that between March 23, 2020 and February 13, 2023, the Supreme Court heard 4,13,537 cases through video conferencing facility. High Court and District Judiciary had heard 2.62 crore cases. The CJI also appreciated the State of Tamil Nadu for taking the lead in promoting the infrastructure of the courts. He pointed out that last year the state had laid the foundation stone of a nine-storey court building project and in less than a year, another project has been launched to improve the infrastructure of the courts.
The CJI in his speech mentioned that most of the court complexes in the country lack basic amenities. There are no proper toilets for lawyers or sanitary napkin dispensers etc. for women lawyers. It was necessary to look into the issue of infrastructure development as production can be increased with a comfortable working environment, he said. The CJI also responded to the request made by the Chief Minister to increase representation in the judiciary. He pointed out that the Collegium has recently been making a conscious effort to increase the representation of women and disadvantaged groups. Supreme Court Judge Justice V Ramasubramanian (who is from Tamil Nadu), Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju also spoke at the function.