Culture of adjournments must be addressed, says CJI Chandrachud
New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud on Sunday said that structural issues affecting the judiciary, such as the pendency of cases, archaic procedures, and the culture of adjournments must be addressed.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Diamond Jubilee year of the Supreme Court, CJI Chandrachud stressed that the legal profession must emerge from the adjournment culture to a culture of professionalism.
Saying that difficult conversations should begin, Justice Chandrachud said, “Let us begin the conversation on long vacations and whether alternatives such as flexitime for lawyers and judges is possible.”
“Our ability to remain relevant as an institution requires us to recognise challenges and begin difficult conversations,” he said, adding that the length of oral arguments does not interminably delay judicial outcomes.
CJI Chandrachud said that the top court was established with a sense of idealism that it would interpret laws in accordance with the rule of law and not by colonial values or social hierarchies.
Terming the Supreme Court as an institution of resolution and justice, he said that the large volume of people approaching the judiciary indicates its bulwark role against injustice, tyranny, and arbitrariness.
“Through its judgments, the Supreme Court has enhanced the rights of citizens by diluting the standards of locus standi and by recognizing a set of new rights under Article 21 of the Constitution, such as the right to a speedy trial,” he added.
During his address, CJI Chandrachud said that women in the country can be seen in important positions and India is going through a period of “social and demographic transformation”.
“Women, traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession, now constitute 36.3 per cent of the working strength of the district judiciary,” he said.
The CJI said the upgraded e-filing platform launched in May 2023 has made 24×7 filing of cases simpler, faster and convenient and nearly 1,28,000 e-filings have been done so far, with a consistent rise in the share of e-filings compared to physical filings.
Further, he said, “The Supreme Court of India today operates in a near complete paperless mode, with almost all Benches using digitized paper-books. More than 13 lakh legacy and live case records with approximately 10 crore pages have been digitized.”
As the Supreme Court enters into the 75th year of its establishment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the Diamond Jubilee celebration and launched several citizen centric information and technology initiatives, including Digital Supreme Court Reports (Digi SCR), Digital Courts 2.0 and new website of the apex court.
After the Constitution of India came into force, the Supreme Court held its inaugural sitting on January 28, 1950.