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Why do we need a ‘Virtual Judiciary’ now?

  • The pendency of cases in various courts in India is staggering- and the existing infrastructure may be grossly under-utilised.
  • There are tribunals such as the Income Tax Tribunal that function only half-day most of the time.
  • To make matters worse, most courts are closed for Christmas and summer vacations.
  • Thousands of Indians cannot afford to go to court as legal costs are high and legal procedures are complicated.
  • Cases are often adjourned due to various reasons.
  • Most tax matters do not necessitate personal hearings.

Using Technology for Speedy disposal of cases?

  • A virtual judiciary result in substantial savings in costs
  • It will also lead to speedy disposal of cases.
  • The productivity of lawyers will increase substantially as visits to courts and long waiting hours will be more an exception than a rule.
  • If this practice is extended to other civil cases, efficiency will double, even treble, in judicial functioning.
  • Advantages of All judges being able to hear cases from anywhere – better utilisation of manpower and infrastructure, and malpractices will be limited as there will no longer be familiarity between lawyers and judges.

How can the Virtual Judiciary work?

  • We can submit all the papers via mail.
  • The judge can decide the case based on all the available information.
  • Wherever the judge requires clarifications, he or she can seek the same through email.
  • Typically, the judge, after considering all the material available, can pass a draft order and send it to both sides for any comments which they may want to provide.
  • Thereafter, the judge can, after considering the comments, pass the final order.
  • This will enhance the quality of the judgment and also eliminate obvious errors.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024