National seminar of Indian judiciary held at Kaziranga, Digitization will provide a new justice-delivery system, says Law and Justice Minister Rijiju

Rijiju made this observation while inaugurating a National Seminar on the ‘Environment and Sustainable Development - Role of Judiciary’ and ‘Digitization of Indian Judiciary
National seminar of Indian judiciary held at Kaziranga, Digitization will provide a new justice-delivery system, says Law and Justice Minister Rijiju


JORHAT: Union Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju said on Saturday that digitization will ensure a new future-ready justice-delivery system for the people of India.

Rijiju made this observation while inaugurating a National Seminar on the 'Environment and Sustainable Development - Role of Judiciary' and 'Digitization of Indian Judiciary - Its impact on Dispensation of Justice' which was organized at Kaziranga by the Gauhati High Court in collaboration with the Government of Assam.

Lauding the seminar as a very good initiative by the Gauhati High Court, Rijiju elaborated on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and said that sustainability is a combination of a high level of human well-being and a high level of well-being of the ecosystem that supports it. As such, he said, digitization of the judiciary should not be seen in isolation. The use of digital platform across all pillars of democracy will ultimately help in early disposal of cases in the judiciary and would benefit the entire system, he added.

Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appreciated the Indian judiciary for its remarkable steps in protection of the environment and upholding the principles of Sustainable Development. He said that the Indian judiciary's commitment to environmental protection has resulted in the innovative use of 'Public Interest Litigation' as a tool for social and environmental justice. Moreover, its judgments in many of the cases have established the doctrine of sustainability in the development paradigm of the country, he said.

Sarma said, "Today, climate change and global warming due to environmental degradation have emerged as real challenges to the existence of lives and livelihoods of billions of people across the world. The present circumstances have increased our responsibility manifold towards protecting the environment. This calls for a sense of urgency towards sustainability and environmental conservation in our day to day life."

Sarma said that India's traditional practices always reflected a sustainable lifestyle. The Vedic philosophy emphasized the undeniable connection that human beings share with nature. He further said that the environment provides us with almost all the resources for our survival. But all natural endowments are not limitless. Over-exploitation of resources and transformation of the natural environment in course of economic development have compelled the society to revisit its actions and look for urgent corrective measures to restore the wounded environment.

Highlighting various provisions incorporated in the Indian Constitution regarding environmental protection, the Chief Minister opined that sensible planning, balanced development and deployment of green technology would provide realistic solutions to save the environment. He further said that in any modern polity, the Rule of Law is a basic obligation for sustainable economic development and if progress is to be achieved, then the poor must enjoy the benefits of the Rule of Law and have easy access to functioning institutions of justice.

Sarma also spoke about various steps taken for environment and wildlife protection by the state government, adding that Assam is also actively pursuing the SDGs in all its departments and many other government organizations. He said that the government has strengthened and increased Protected Area network by upgrading Reserve Forests to National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, declaring Wildlife Sanctuary as National Parks, etc. This has been done for better protection and conservation of wild animals, including elephants. He also informed that the state government has also decided to increase forest cover of Assam from 36% to 38% in the next five years by way of large-scale plantations.

Sarma also appreciated the Supreme Court for introducing a new system of e-filing as a process tool and artificial intelligence as reference support infrastructure, which are characterized by efficiency, transparency and access to justice delivery system. He said that with introduction of this new system, India's courts have ushered in a new justice delivery system.

Supreme Court Justice MR Shah, Justice Surya Kant, Justice AS Bopanna, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Justice Vikram Nath, Justice CT Ravikumar, Justice MM Sundresh and Justice PS Narasimha; Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court Justice RM Chhaya, Chief Justice and Judges of various High Courts of India, former Judge of Supreme Court of India Justice (Retd) Indira Banerjee, Judge of Gauhati High Court Justice Suman Shyam, Advocate Generals of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, District Judges of Assam, Registrars of Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, former Judges of Gauhati High Court, government and judicial officers, members of the legal fraternity and other dignitaries were present in the inaugural event.

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