Is the Indian judiciary prepared for technological revolution finally? A critical analysis of judicial functioning in the COVID world

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Alex Joseph, Versha Vahini


W. E. Gladstone, said in 1800s that “justice delayed is justice denied”. This notion of testament has its epistemological universality and applicability even in the present times. The reasons for the delay in justice become irrelevant, if such deferral leads to an unjust end, fettering the notion of justice. Howsoever, in light of ‘humanitarian emergency’, the delay injustice by the judicial system could only be justified if appropriate preparedness and all the measures for mitigation of the risk have been undertaken; in the void of such preparedness and mitigation strategies, the delay in justice tends to be unjustified. Judicial disposal in India faces a lot of pendency and an overload of cases that ought to be dispensed by the courts. This situation became worse when the pandemic hit the country in 2020. Howsoever, the judicial system adopted the modes of technology in order to modernize and digitalize the functioning of courts during Covid-19. Such adoption by the judicial branch lacked preparedness unlike other branches such as the legislative and the executive, which modernized and digitalized in a piecemeal manner. Quick adoptions, turned out to be a boon for judicial functioning to an extent, but there remain certain challenges that are yet to be addressed. It is in this light the present study attempts to analyze the impact of covid-19 on the functioning of the judicial system in India, which eventually led to the effective dispensation of justice while retaining certain challenges which are to be addressed.

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