Use of technology may reduce judicial backlog: Legal luminaries

Mumbai: The continuously piling up backlog can be cleared with the help of technology and developing e-courts, said senior counsel Feroze Andhyarujina on Saturday. He said “artificial intelligence” can be used to reduce the highest pendency of cases in the country. Andhyarujina, however, said that such artificial intelligence can be used only in technical cases and not in cases which require a “human touch.” The senior advocate was speaking at a session organised to discuss the rising pendency rate of cases in Indian judiciary and what could be the probable solutions to the issue.

In his speech, Andhyarujina said, “One of the most essential thing that we must now have is e-courts. This is an age of technology and digitisation. Thus, we must develop e-courts.” “Such courts can be helpful in deciding technical cases like the ones under tax laws. But for cases like the criminal ones or the ones which require a humane approach, such artificial intelligence must not be used,” Andhyarujina said.

Andhyarujina further suggested to introduce a Human Resource (HR) department in the legal system. He said just like corporates, judiciary too must have a HR person, who can oversee all appointments “but this would not mean that judges won’t have any say in the appointments,” Andhyarujina clarified.

Similar was the opinion of Justice (retd.) BN Srikrishna of the Supreme Court. He emphasised on the need to have a systematic appointment plan. “When a person is appointed as a judge, the date of his retirement from the service is known to all. Thus, we know when a particular person will be retiring and so instead of waiting for his retirement, we must be ready with the name of his successor, much prior,” Justice Srikrishna said.

The former Supreme Court judge also stressed on the need to have a qualitative judges and lawyers. “I would be happy to see one day that all the judges in place, sitting in the court and not sleeping and carrying out their work,” Justice Srikrishna told a jam-packed auditorium at KC College. The event was also attended by former Bombay High Court judges – Justices Roshan Dalvi and J H Bhatia, who too suggested some probable solutions to bring down the piling backlog.

“Instead of adjourning a case and keeping it pending and going on to dispose old cases, the judges must first dispose of the new cases. This will ensure that no case becomes old and isn’t pending,” suggested Justice Dalvi. Justice Bhatia, in his speech stressed on out of court settlements. “Justice delayed is justice denied. I believe that instead of bringing every issue to the courts, citizens must first try to talk and settle the matter outside the court. They can even go for arbitration and other like forums,” Justice Bhatia suggested. The panellists also consisting of former chief information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, further recommended setting up of parallel forums like tribunals or arbitration and redressal panels to solve the cases.

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