Friday, September 22, 2023

Chief Justice Ramana writes to Centre, highlights vacancy in HCs, lack of info tech infrastructure leading to digital divide

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Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana has written to the Minister of Law and Justice, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology highlighting a set of issues that requires the Centre’s immediate intervention. 

Firstly, strengthening the network and connectivity, particularly in rural and tribal areas, in view of the digital divide that has adversely impacted the functioning of the courts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Secondly, augmenting the provisioning of vaccinations for all functionaries associated with courts and their family members.

Thirdly, recognizing all the court functionaries, including the advocates, as frontline workers.

Fourthly, providing financial support to advocates, particularly junior advocates, who are struggling to make both ends meet due to loss of work since the onset of the pandemic.

The letter throws light on the need for augmenting the judicial infrastructure with latest information and communication technology tools to facilitate Access to Justice during and post pandemic time. It mentioned that the judicial infrastructure should be streamlined and revamped to deal with the challenges of pendency. 

In this regard, CJI Ramana stated that a blueprint of the proposal to set up the National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation (NJIC) is in the final stages of preparation and will be shared with the Union Government shortly. 

“I am of the firm belief that concerted efforts need to be put in, in order to materialize this concept, in view of the challenges put forth by the pandemic,” says the CJI.

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In his letter, CJI Ramana also mentioned his interaction with the Chief Justices of the High Courts upon assuming the Office of the Chief Justice of India, on the need to expedite the process of sending recommendations through the Collegium to fill up vacancies in the respective High Courts; and that he has been assured of positive and accelerated action by the Chief Justices. 

He expressed hope that these issues will be taken up with the concerned Ministries/Departments at the highest level and that the Union will actively intervene in addressing the aforementioned concerns.

Read the letter here;


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