It is so convenient that there are no bundle of files on the dais, Chief Justice J S Khehar said today as the Supreme Court rolled out its ambitious paperless project by going into the digital mode to conduct the day’s matters. The Chief Justice expressed happiness saying the move has helped in removing the bundles of files from the podium. “From yesterday, I am very happy because it is so convenient. There are no bundle of files here (at the dias),” the CJI said while hearing a matter on the first day of reopening of the apex court after summer vacation.
Justice Khehar, who was holding the bench along with Justice D Y Chandrachud, occasionally took the help of the court staff to go through the files in digital mode and conducted the day’s hearing without any hiccup. While trying to adjust to the digital mode, some of the judges in the first five courtrooms also resorted to the conventional style of going through the hard copies of the case files.
A bench headed by CJI Khehar had on March 23 said that the apex court will go “paperless” within six to seven months. Later at a seminar here on May 10, CJI Khehar, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had said digital filing of cases would make the judicial system “extremely transparent” and rule out any manipulation of the records. While the ball was set to go digital, the apex court today also changed the location of some courtrooms which created some confusion among the lawyers, litigants and scribes as they had to rush from one corner to the other.
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Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who was present in one of the courtrooms, said with the re-numbering of some courts, “the courtroom of registrars have now been made courtrooms and the courtrooms have now been turned into court of registrars”. “The advocates are now rushing from one corner to the other in the apex court,” he told a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar.
Similarly, senior advocate Dushyant Dave told a bench headed by Justice Chelameswar that “from now on, the apex court will see leaner and thinner members of bar as they will have to rush to the newly created courtrooms.” Some of the newly created courtrooms have been shifted to the first floor of the apex court. The location of court rooms six, seven, eight and nine have been changed. The top court has also upgraded its display board systems as new boards have been installed inside and outside the courtrooms.
The apex court registry had yesterday said that the paperless digitisation project would be implemented gradually and, in the first phase, only fresh matters listed in first five courts would be accessed by the judges digitally on an interactive display device. The registry had said that all the high courts in the country have been provided with login IDs to upload digitised records in the prescribed format.
“The Supreme Court has made all the preparations to make the court paperless. As the concept of paperless court involves various technical and functional issues, it is proposed to implement the project gradually, as it would be a new method of working for the advocates and judges,” the apex court registry had said in a press release. The registry had said that the apex court had extended the facilities of disseminating details to all concerned by providing two helpdesks at the two reception counters in the court premises.