Tech reliance during COVID-19 has led to new inequality, says the CJI Bobde2 min read


New Delhi: The Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde on Thursday said “the pandemic has been the biggest challenge in delivering unhampered justice to a common man”, and urged the government to look for options to eradicate the “new type of inequality” which has arisen because of the pandemic.

CJI Bobde was speaking in an event organized by the Supreme Court of India on the occasion of Constitution Day in which President of India Mr. Ram Nath Kovind and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad were present.

Justice N.V. Ramana, the second most senior judge in Supreme Court, in his welcome address spoke on the “unfounded criticism” on the constitutional institutions. 

Justice N.V Ramana said, “There are various unfounded criticisms of our Constitutional institutions. These types of criticism are not in the favor of public interest and it harms our foundation of democracy. Then he further said, the answer to all the criticism is to work hard to fulfill all our constitutional duties. Nothing can deter us.” 

CJI Bobde said, “There have been various changes in the justice delivery system and the choice was very clear. Either, we switch to virtual hearing or we have to shut down the court completely. During the pandemic, the court has to deal with various difficult situations related to migrant workers, inadequate facilities for treatment, dead bodies not getting burial because of the fear of infection, unaffordable cost of treatment and inadequate hospital beds.” 

He further said, “Hearing matters through video conferencing has given rise to technological inequality. This new type of inequality arose because now getting justice has become technology dependent. Now, those having access to technology can get justice but the people who don’t have access to technology cannot get justice”. He also appealed to the IT Minister Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad to come up with the remedy.

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