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Seeing the judicial backlogs and complexity with its present process, ...

  May 10, 2020

Seeing the judicial backlogs and complexity with its present process, there is a need for virtual judiciary. Discuss

  1. During the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, it has become clear that many activities can simply be done online. 
  2. The pendency of cases in various courts in India is staggering. The Economic Survey of 2019-2020 dedicates a chapter to the pendency of tax cases and revenue cases. The Survey mistakenly argues for more court infrastructure and judges to solve the problem. 
  3. On the contrary, the existing infrastructure is grossly under-utilised. There are tribunals such as the Income Tax Tribunal that function only half-day most of the time. 
  4. To make matters worse, most courts are closed for Christmas and summer vacations. Judges are not accountable for efficiency and performance. 
  5. Thousands of Indians cannot afford to go to court as legal costs are high and legal procedures are complicated.
  6. Cases are often adjourned due to various reasons. It is in this context that it makes the case for a virtual judiciary.
  7. In such a scenario, one can submit all the papers via mail. The judge can decide the case based on all the available information. 
  8. 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. 
  9. 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.
  10. The productivity of lawyers will increase substantially as visits to courts and long waiting hours will be more an exception than a rule.