The Chief Justice of India also said that although the coronavirus pandemic has posed challenges in access to justice, it has paved the way for modernising courtrooms.
Chief Justice of India S. A. Bobde on Saturday said that courtrooms and court complexes would become smaller in future due to technological interventions.
He also said that although the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has posed challenges in access to justice, it has paved the way for modernising courtrooms.
The CJI was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a new building for the Goa Bench of Bombay High Court at Porvorim near Panaji.
Union Law and Justice, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and others were also present on the occasion.
“I see a trend of having smaller courtrooms in the future because of Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Ministry. The e-filing and data which can be contained is going to take away the need for many storage rooms and many rooms which are necessary for storing papers. The SC has done its bit on issues of court infrastructure. It has devised benchmarks and frameworks for minimum standards,” he said in his speech.
The CJI said that the discussion on infrastructure has largely been on the quantitative part, that is on building more courtrooms.
“Though building more courtrooms is necessary and important, there was very little emphasis on modernising the existing courtrooms. Though the pandemic has posed a lot of problems to access to justice, it has paved the way for modernising the courtroom,” he said.
The CJI also stressed the need to have a new building for the Bombay High Court in Mumbai.
“Bombay (High Court) also needs a new building. The Bombay building was constructed for seven judges. It is now housing more than 40. It is impossible,” he said.
On the judiciary in Goa, an erstwhile Portuguese colony, the CJI said that the legacy of justice in Goa spans more than four-and-a-half centuries.
“I am including the period before the liberation contrary to many other areas. Even though it was not part of Indian union, there was well-established system of administration or justice,” the CJP said.
The CJI had also presided over as a judge on the Goa Bench of the High Court before being promoted to the apex court.
“I am the only judge or one of thee few judges who sat so often at Goa. I heard remarks that Justice Bobde is a Goa judge. I am happy when I am described like this because that’s when I admired Goa, its culture, natural habitat, its music and even football,” he said.