Virtual hearings have democratised access to Supreme Court: CJI Chandrachud

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CJI also spoke on court's attempting to reduce the need for litigants’ physical presence before it for adjudication of disputes. On a pilot basis, we are using artificial intelligence for traffic fine cases- which are high volume, repetitive, and relatively uncomplicated cases, he said

Dr DY Chandrachud, Chief Justice of India, recently addressed a gathering on the auspices of the J20 Summit happening in Rio, Brazil.

He spoke in a session conducted on the topic- "Digital Transformation and the use of technology to enhance judicial efficiency".

The CJI expressed how Virtual hearings have democratised access to the Supreme Court by opening the space for people who could not appear before the Court without great difficulty.

"Persons with physical impairments, pregnant women, persons in their advanced years can now choose to opt to access the courtroom virtually. Over 750,000 cases have been heard over video conferencing. The proceedings of important constitutional cases in the Supreme Court are live-streamed on its YouTube channel - bringing constitutional deliberations to the homes and hearts of all citizens...", the CJI said.

The Chief Justice further remarked that courts have come to be reimagined not as imposing ‘empires’, but as democratic spaces of discourse. 

"As judges, we are neither princes nor sovereigns who are above the explainability requirement ourselves. We are service providers, and enablers of rights-affirming societies. The decision itself and the road leading up to it, must be transparent, understandable to everyone with or without a legal education and must be broad enough for everyone to walk alongside...", he has added.