The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Diamond Jubilee celebration of the Supreme Court of India on 28 January at the Supreme Court auditorium in Delhi. He also launched citizen-centric information and technology initiatives that include Digital Supreme Court Reports (Digi SCR), Digital Courts 2.0 and a new website of the Supreme Court.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister congratulated everyone and expressed gratitude for being present when the Supreme Court of India is marking the beginning of its 75th year today and also mentioned the Constitution of India entering its 75th year two days ago.
The Prime Minister said that the makers of the Indian constitution saw the dream of a free India based on freedom, equality and justice and the Supreme Court has continuously tried to preserve these principles. The Prime Minister said that “Whether it is freedom of expression, personal freedom or social justice, the Supreme Court has strengthened India’s vibrant democracy.” The Prime Minister noted the milestone judgments on individual rights and freedom of speech that have given a new direction to the nation’s socio-political environment.
PM Modi reiterated the parameters of goals for the next 25 years for every branch of the government and said that today’s economic policies will form the basis of tomorrow’s vibrant India. “Laws that are being laid down today will strengthen the bright future of India”, PM Modi said.
Amidst the changing landscape of global geopolitics, the Prime Minister underlined that the eyes of the world are on India and its trust is constantly increasing. He emphasized the need to capitalize on all opportunities coming our way and mentioned ease of living, ease of doing business, travel, communication and ease of justice as the nation’s top priorities. “Ease of justice is the right of every Indian citizen and the Supreme Court of India, its medium”, PM Modi exhorted.
Noting that the entire justice system in the country is administered and guided by the Supreme Court of India, the Prime Minister stressed the government’s prioritization towards making the Supreme Court accessible to the remotest parts and mentioned giving acceptance to the third phase of the E-Courts Mission Project. He informed that the fund allocation for the third phase has been increased four times more than the second phase. PM Modi expressed delight that the digitization of all courts in the country is being monitored by the Chief Justice of India himself and congratulated him for his efforts.
Reiterating the government’s commitment to improving the physical infrastructure of the courts, the Prime Minister informed that after 2014, more than 7000 crore rupees have been already distributed for this purpose. Acknowledging the problems of the current Supreme Court building, PM Modi informed the gathering about last week’s approval of Rs 800 crore for the expansion of the Supreme Court Building Complex.
Commenting on the digital initiatives of the Supreme Court that were launched today, the Prime Minister expressed happiness about the availability of the decisions in a digital format and the beginning of the project of translation of the Supreme Court decision in the local language. He expressed the hope for similar arrangements in other courts of the country.
Highlighting that today’s occasion is the perfect example of technology being helpful in Ease of Justice, the Prime Minister informed that his address is being translated into English in real time with the help of AI and it can also be heard via Bhashini app. He said that there might be a few issues that arise initially but it also expands the horizons of technology usage. Even in our Courts, the Prime Minister said that similar technology can be implemented to make lives easier for the common people. Recalling his suggestions to draft laws in simple language for a better understanding of the people, Shri Modi suggested a similar approach to drafting court judgements and orders.
Underscoring the essence of Indian values and modernity in our legal framework, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the need for our laws to reflect both Indian ethos and contemporary practices. He stated, “The convergence of Indian values and modernity is equally essential in our legal statutes.” Prime Minister Modi further remarked, “The government is actively working on modernizing laws to align with the present situation and best practices.”
Prime Minister Modi highlighted the government’s initiatives in abolishing outdated colonial criminal laws and introducing new legislation such as the Bhartiya Nagrik Suraksha Samhita, Bhartiya Nyaya Samhita, and Bhartiya Sakshya Adhiniyam. He emphasized, “Through these changes, our legal, policing, and investigative systems have entered a new era.” Emphasizing the significance of transitioning from centuries-old laws to new statutes, Prime Minister Modi stressed, “The transition from old laws to new ones should be seamless, which is imperative.” In this regard, he noted the commencement of training and capacity-building initiatives for government officials to facilitate the transition. Prime Minister Modi urged the Supreme Court to also engage in capacity-building for all stakeholders.
Prime Minister Modi underscored the crucial role of a robust justice system as the cornerstone of Viksit Bharat. He highlighted the government’s continuous efforts to create a reliable legal framework, citing the enactment of the Jan Vishwas Bill as a step in the right direction while also reducing the number of pending cases thereby alleviating unnecessary pressure from the judiciary. Prime Minister Modi also mentioned the introduction of provisions for alternative dispute resolution through mediation, which has contributed to easing the burden, especially the subordinate judiciary.
Prime Minister Modi reiterated the collective responsibility of all citizens towards realizing India’s vision of becoming a Viksit Bharat by 2047. He concluded by acknowledging the significant role the Supreme Court will play in shaping the country’s future over the next 25 years and congratulated the institution on its 75th anniversary. The Prime Minister mentioned Padma Bhushan being conferred posthumously to M. Fathima Beevi and expressed pride for this opportunity.
Chief Justice of India, Dr D Y Chandrachud, Union Minister for Law and Justice, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Judges of Supreme Court, Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Bhushan Ramkrishna Gavai, Attorney General of India, Shri R Venkataramani, President of Supreme Court Bar Association, Dr Adish C Aggarwal and Chairman of Bar Council of India, Shri Manan Kumar Mishra were present on the occasion.
Unveiling the seventy-fifth year of the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister launched citizen-centric information and technology initiatives that include Digital Supreme Court Reports (Digi SCR), Digital Courts 2.0 and the new website of the Supreme Court.
The Digital Supreme Court Reports (SCR) will make Supreme Court judgments available to the citizens of the country free of cost and in electronic format. The key features of digital SCR are that all 519 volumes of the Supreme Court reports since 1950, covering 36,308 cases, shall be available in a digital format, bookmarked, user-friendly, and with open access.
Digital Courts 2.0 application is a recent initiative under the e-Courts project to make court records available to the Judges of the district courts in electronic form. This is coupled with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for transcribing speech to text on a real-time basis.
The Prime Minister also launched the new website of the Supreme Court. The new website will be in bilingual format in English and Hindi and has been redesigned with a user-friendly interface.