Ex-CIC calls for making virtual hearing permanent feature of judicial system

NEW DELHI: Former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has called for making virtual hearing a permanent feature of the judicial system, stating that the achievements of a Supreme Court e-committee, which has been around since 2005, have been “inadequate”.
He has made this suggestion in his submission to Justice DY Chandrachud, the Chairperson of the SC e-committee, saying the draft report placed by the committee in public domain lacks “any real evaluation of the effectiveness of the earlier efforts and recommendations”.
Gandhi, who had set in motion paperless working in the Central Information Commission a decade back said, “The Supreme Court E-Committee has been around since 2005 and it appears its real achievements are inadequate.”
Citing the findings of the Committee, Gandhi said the report mentions that a total of Rs. 639.411 crore plus Rs 1670 crore have been spent implementing Information and Communication Technology based systems in courts.
“If I presume an expenditure of 309.411 crore for software and consultancy, it would mean Rs 2,000 crore for hardware. Assuming about 20,000 courts, this would mean an average expenditure of about Rs.10 lacs per court for hardware. This should be more than adequate. Yet, most courts did not function effectively during the pandemic using virtual hearings,” he said.


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