Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday emphasised that technology needs to be brought into play to speed up the justice delivery system, especially in remote areas such as in the northeast.
He also maintained that the alternative dispute resolution system was an important pillar of judicial delivery.
Speaking at the concluding ceremony of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Gauhati High Court here, Modi said, “Technology can help bring justice to remote areas such as in the northeast.”
He said the government is ensuring utilisation of new technology in every possible sphere, citing Digital India Mission, DBT and Aadhaar as examples of such initiatives to provide tech benefits to citizens.
Indicating how lack of clarity in property ownership has proven to be a burden on the judiciary, he gave an example of how drones have been used to bring a solution by mapping properties in over 1 lakh villages under the PM Swamitva Yojana.
“Property card distribution to lakhs of citizens have already been accomplished, which will result in a decline in property-related cases and ease the lives of citizens,” the PM added.
He maintained that there is “unlimited scope for use of technology” to modernise the justice delivery system in the country.
Praising the work of the Supreme Court’s e-committee in this regard, he mentioned that Budgetary allocation has been made for phase 3 of the e-court mission.
Referring to global efforts to use AI in the judicial system to bring efficiency, Modi said, “We should also try to increase efforts to improve the ease of justice for the common citizen through AI.”
He also said, “Alternative dispute resolution systems are vital. The North East has rich traditions in this regard.
“The law schools should also teach about these,” he added, lauding the Gauhati High Court for recently coming out with six books on customary laws of the region.
He also emphasised the country’s law should be written in an easy language, comprehensible to ordinary people, as it enhances citizen’s trust in the country and its systems.
“Effort is to draft laws in simple language and this approach will be greatly helpful for the courts of our country”, he said, also mentioning about the BHASHINI portal which aims to help every citizen to access the internet in their own language.
Paying tribute to Bhim Rao Ambedkar on his birth anniversary, Modi said, “It is a happy coincidence that today is Babasaheb Ambedkar’s anniversary. He had played the main role in framing our Constitution.”
Noting that the aspirations of Indians in the 21st century are unbounded, the prime minister said the judiciary, as a pillar of democracy, has a strong and sensitive role to play in meeting these aspirations.
“The Constitution also expects us to build a strong, vibrant and modern legal system,” he said.
“We repealed thousands of archaic laws, reduced compliances. About 2000 such laws have been repealed and more than 40,000 compliances have been discontinued. This, along with the decriminalisation of many provisions of business, has reduced the number of cases in the courts,” he added.
The prime minister emphasised the need for the government and the judiciary to be sensitive towards those who have been incarcerated for petty crimes for years and do not have the resources or the money to pay for bail or fines.
He also took note of those whose families were not ready to accept them after the legal processes had been completed.
He mentioned that this year’s Budget has a provision for financial assistance for such prisoners where monetary aid will be handed over to the state by the Centre to help in securing their release.
He also highlighted the role of Gauhati High Court in justice delivery in the region, pointing that it has the largest jurisdiction under it in the country, and said, “The Gauhati High Court has its own heritage and identity.”
It has four states, including Assam, under it at present, while till 2013, seven states were under its jurisdiction, he added.
During the programme, the prime minister also launched a mobile application Assam Cop’, designed by Assam Police.
The app will facilitate accused and vehicle searches from the database of the Crime & Criminal Network Tracking System (CCTNS) and the VAHAN national register.
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