The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Diamond Jubilee celebration of the Supreme Court of India on 28 January at the Supreme Court auditorium in Delhi. He also launched citizen-centric information and technology initiatives that include Digital Supreme Court Reports (Digi SCR), Digital Courts 2.0 and a new website of the Supreme Court.
On the occasion, he appreciated Supreme Court in preserving the principles of freedom, equality and justice as was envisaged by our founders of constitution. “Ease of justice is the right of every Indian citizen and the Supreme Court of India, its medium”, PM Modi exhorted.
Commenting on the digital initiatives of the Supreme Court that were launched today, the Prime Minister expressed happiness about the availability of the decisions in a digital format and the beginning of the project of translation of the Supreme Court decision in the local language. He expressed the hope for similar arrangements in other courts of the country.
Prime Minister Modi highlighted the government’s initiatives in abolishing outdated colonial criminal laws and introducing new legislation such as the Bhartiya Nagrik Suraksha Samhita, Bhartiya Nyaya Samhita, and Bhartiya Sakshya Adhiniyam. He emphasized, “Through these changes, our legal, policing, and investigative systems have entered a new era.” Emphasizing the significance of transitioning from centuries-old laws to new statutes, Prime Minister Modi stressed, “The transition from old laws to new ones should be seamless, which is imperative.” In this regard, he noted the commencement of training and capacity-building initiatives for government officials to facilitate the transition.
Chief Justice of India, Dr D Y Chandrachud emphasized on constitutional ideals permeating the fabric of India, guiding the actions and interactions of both the governed and those who govern. He highlighted the efforts of the Supreme court in enhancing 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. Counting on new initiatives, he was hopeful that e-courts will transform the judicial system into a technology enabled, efficient, accessible and environment-friendly institution.
CJI noted that live proceedings of the Supreme Court Constitutional Bench hearings are popular and speak to the genuine curiosity that people have towards our courts and procedures.
Talking about special efforts to bridge gender gap in judiciary, he proudly shared currently women constitute 36.3% of the working strength of the district judiciary. In the recruitment examination for Junior Civil Judges conducted in several states, more than 50% of the selected candidates were women. He added that we need to make more efforts to bring different sections of the society into the legal profession. For instance, the representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is quite low both at the Bar as well as on the Bench.
He called for recognizing the challenges and begin difficult conversations on adjournment culture, arguments delaying judgements, long vacations and level playing field for first generation legal professionals.
The event was graced with the presence of the Chief Justices of neighbours-Bangladesh, Bhutan, Mauritius, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, Union Minister for Law and Justice, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Judges of Supreme Court, Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Bhushan Ramkrishna Gavai, Attorney General of India, Shri R Venkataramani, President of Supreme Court Bar Association, Dr Adish C Aggarwal and Chairman of Bar Council of India, Shri Manan Kumar Mishra were present on the occasion.