Supreme Court to turn paperless in 6-7 months

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will turn paperless in six to seven months, Chief Justice JS Khehar said on Thursday, in a bid to make the judiciary more ecofriendly and also to save funds. The judicial system thrives on tonnes and tonnes of paper, with lawyers filing copious amounts of documents and judges insisting that lawyers submit everything in black and white.

Subsequently, paperwork has assumed ridiculous proportions in every single court, with litigants coming in with truckloads of papers in some high-profile cases. Dealing with large volumes of paper documents has added to delays inherent in the system. On Thursday, when the CJI told senior advocate Indira Jaising to file an application if she had any grievance that she wanted to be heard by the court on the designation of advocates as senior advocates, she virtually refused.

“We are talking about protecting the environment. But I am sorry to say the Supreme Court is the biggest guzzler of paper. I think we need to reduce the use of paper,” she said, virtually refusing to put down her objections in paper.

She said while on one hand the top court and the National Green Tribunal were passing directions to protect the environment, on the other the court machinery itself was one of the biggest consumers of paper, production of which leads to massive felling of trees.Justice Khehar immediately assured her that the court would go completely digital soon.

“After another six month, you don’t need to file any documents… we will get all trial courts and high courts records electronically and start dealing with the cases through the electronic medium,” the CJI assured her.

Once that is done, all records related to cases would be made available to judges electronically. Filing would possibly also be done electronically. The court is already in the process of digitising old records, though the pace of the transition has been slow.