“Technology is an enabler and a facilitator. Hence, no segment of the citizens should be left behind in the adoption of technology, least of all, in terms of access to justice.” CJI Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court balances the use of technology with access to justice; it requests that the Center establish e-sewa kendras and solicits advice from the Bar Association. Technology is an enabler and a facilitator, the CJI led bench said. As a result, no group of individuals should be excluded from the deployment of technology, especially in terms of access to justice.
The mandatory e-filing of pleadings before Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRT) and Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRAT) was challenged on the grounds that DRT are established in remote locations where internet connectivity may not be adequately available. A three judge bench consisting of DY Chandrachud, CJ, PS Narasimha, and JB Pardiwala, JJ, has issued instructions for attending to the legitimate complaints of the members of the Bar regarding availability of the facility E- filing in DRT (Debt recovery tribunal ) and DRAT (Debt recovery Appellate tribunal) to ensure that no group of people in the society is unable to access justice
Whether the Amendment made by the parliament for mandatory e-filing of pleading before DRT and DRAT deprived the right of applicant and stakeholder because DRT are constituted in far-flung areas where internet connectivity may not be adequately available.
The supreme court held that emphasized that e-filing offers transparency and efficiency in the administration of justice because it allows for constant access to the court system and, facilitates the convenience of both lawyers and litigants, it was also conscious of the fact that there is a digital divide in the nation and that not all residents have access to the internet or the facilities needed for the effective use of technology.
The supreme court suggested some guidelines allowed the Bar Associations to submit their representations to the Department of Financial Services if any specific issues with the e-filing process arise. These Bar Associations represent the collective voice of the attorneys in the DRT and DRAT.
The supreme court further suggested that the central government to established E-sewa kendras at all the branches of DRT and DRAT to ensure e filling of the cases. The E- Sewa kendras should have adequate facility of the equipment like computer scanner with WiFi connectivity as to facilitate the process of E-filling. The sc recommended the appointment of a chairperson and presiding officer in DRT and DRAT as well as the National information centre to submit a monthly report to the Department of financial services regarding the e-filling status and any upgradation required.
The court directed that the above suggestion must be implemented within three month.