New Delhi [India], June 26 (ANI): Chief Justice of India NV Ramana has written to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad requesting to strengthen the network and connectivity beyond major urban centres, particularly in rural and tribal areas, as he said the digital divide is adversely impacting the functioning of the Courts in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter written to the Union Law Minister on June 8, the CJI stated, "I am writing to bring to your kind attention certain issues that emerged during the course of my recent interaction with the Chief Justices of all the High Courts which need the immediate intervention of the Union Government."
Apart from strengthening the network and connectivity in rural and tribal areas, the CJI also asked the Union Minister to augment the provisioning of vaccines to immunise all the functionaries associated with the Courts and their families across the country to facilitate full-scale functioning.
"To recognise all the functionaries of the Courts, including the advocates, as front-line workers for the purpose of providing pandemic related relief. To provide financial support to advocates, especially the junior advocates, who are struggling to make both ends meet due to loss of work for more than a year since the onset of a pandemic," the letter demanded.
The CJI requested the Law Minister to take up these issues with the concerned Ministries/Departments at the highest level.
"Needless to mention that the judicial infrastructure needs to be augmented with latest information and communication technology tools to facilitate access to justice during and post-pandemic time, said the CJI in the letter.
Further, the judicial infrastructure needs to be streamlined and revamped to deal with the challenges of pendency, stated the letter, adding that a blueprint of the proposal to set up the National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation (NJIC) is in the final stages of preparation and will be shared with the Union Government shortly.
"I am of the firm belief that concerted efforts need to be put in, in order to materialize this concept, in view of the challenges put forth by the pandemic," the CJI said.
"During the course of my interaction with the Chief Justices of all the High Courts, I have impressed on the need to expedite the process of sending recommendations through Collegium to fill up the vacancies in the respective High Courts. This was in furtherance to my communication addressed to the Chief Justices of all the High Courts soon after I had assumed the Office of the Chief Justice of India. I have been assured of positive and accelerated action by the Chief Justices," added the CJI in his letter to Prasad. (ANI)