SC judgments to be now available in 4 languages, says CJI

Published on Jan 25, 2023 01:02 AM IST

The CJI said that translation of judgments in the regional languages will help in the access to justice for the citizens.

The CJI said that English is “not a comprehensible language to 99.99% of the citizens” in the country. (ANI Pic Service)
The CJI said that English is “not a comprehensible language to 99.99% of the citizens” in the country. (ANI Pic Service)
By, New Delhi

The judgments delivered by the Supreme Court will now be translated into four languages —Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati and Odia — Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud said on Tuesday, while remarking that English is “not a comprehensible language to 99.99% of the citizens” in the country.

He was speaking during the inauguration function of an Online e-Inspection Software — that will allow inspection of digitised judicial files of the Delhi high court. The CJI said that translation of judgments in the regional languages will help in the access to justice for the citizens.

“A very important initiative which we have adopted recently is translation of judgments of the Supreme Court in regional languages. Because we must understand that the language which we use namely English, is a language which is not comprehensible, particularly in its legal avatar, to 99.9% of our citizens, in which case really access to justice cannot be meaningful, unless citizens are able to access and understand in a language which they speak and comprehend, the judgments which we deliver whether in the high courts or in the Supreme Courts,” said the CJI.

He said a committee has been formed, headed by SC judge Abhay Oka, to translate the judgments into four languages with a mission that every high court across the country should have a committee of two judges, one of whom should be a judge who is drawn from the district judiciary “because of their sheer width of experience”.

He further said that they are also developing a software and setting up a team where machine learning for translation of the SC judgments will be used. The CJI said that he also intends to appoint retired judicial officers, apart from translators, for verifying machine translation of the Supreme Court judgments, while emphasizing on the need for vetting the machine translations. “These judges do not have to come to the precincts of high court and they can work by sitting at home,” he said.

Saying that technology is a “powerful tool for the judiciary”, the CJI spoke about a number of new initiatives such as the Mobile Justice application and working towards creating neutral citation for the judgments passed by the apex court. He said like Supreme Court, every high court should have its own Right to Information Act (RTI) portal to make the process of disclosure of information related to courts under RTI Act, streamlined and accessible.

The e-inspection software inaugurated on Tuesday has been redeveloped for usage not only by the inspection branch officers, but also by advocates and litigants which are crucial, said the CJI, adding that young members of the bar won’t have to wait in long queues to inspect the documents.

Speaking on the occasion, Delhi high court judge and chairman of its Information Technology Committee Justice Rajiv Shakdher said the software is a small but a significant step in enhancing the digital environment. He said that the Delhi high court has been the only court, which has heard maximum number of cases through video conferencing (VC).

“Even though we have (only) 11 districts, we did more VCs than other courts, which are the presidency courts... which have three times the districts during the Covid period and thereafter,” justice Shakdher said.

Delhi high court chief justice Satish Chandra Sharma said that they converted the Covid-19 crisis into opportunity.

The ‘Online e-Inspection Software’ will facilitate online e-inspection of digitised judicial files through the internet, at the click of a mouse, from the comfort of the homes or offices of advocates/litigants.

“Advocates or litigants were earlier required to visit the Delhi High Court to inspect their case files and inspection was only allowed for a particular period. Now, however, the ‘Online e-Inspection Software’ will provide the facility of e-inspection of digitized judicial files to the concerned advocates/litigants through the internet,” the high court said in a statement.

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    Reports from the Delhi High Court and stories on legal developments in the city. Avid mountain lover, cooking and playing with birds 🐦 when not at work

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