Legal luminaries for leveraging technology in justice delivery at 3rd MM Punchhi Memorial Lecture

To mark the 89th birth anniversary of former Chief Justice of India Justice Madan Mohan Punchhi, the Competent Foundation organized the third Justice Madan Mohan Memorial Lecture at Law Bhawan at Chandigarh.

The theme of the lecture was ‘Need for Legal Reforms with the advent of Technology’ wherein invited justices including stalwarts of the legal fraternity emphasized  upon the maximum use of technology in the judicial system. Earlier, President of Competent Foundation, Sanjay Tandon and Organizing Committee member Pawan Kumar Mutneja while welcoming the delegates in their addresses said that Justice Punchhi has been considered the pillar of the judiciary where he set ideals during his tenure. The purpose of organizing this annual series of lectures is to remember him on this occasion and to strengthen the law and order by considering his ideals among the law fraternity.

Intellectuals from the legal fraternity shared their experiences of Justice Punchhi with the audiences.  While emphasizing the use of technology in the legal framework, Supreme Court Justice Hemant Gupta said that the time has come to break the imperialist legal practices established way back more than 75 years ago erstwhile British Raj to adopt online legal procedures like Singapore. Citing the example of the Virtual Conference Court established in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, he stressed upon that with the use of technology, distances will no longer become obstacles and there will also be a hope of getting justice early.

Justice GS Sandhawalia also advocated law reforms with the advent of technology. In his address he said  when the world had come to a standstill due to the global pandemic Covid-19, technology intervention in the legal procedure had provided relief to numerous petitioners.

He especially congratulated Haryana’s Advocate General Baldev Raj Mahajan who extended an open invitation to technology in the courts of Haryana State. Apart from that, he also expressed concern towards 800 million deprived smartphone bearers who are ignorant of technology. Baldev Raj Mahajan also described the use of technology as meaningful for the legal profession. He said that his efforts are to make the judiciary a paperless court so that the entire case comes under the online scanner. He said that efforts have been intensified in this direction, as his AG office and law offices are conducting online meetings and lectures. Digitization of custody certificates has resulted in massive resource savings and courts also welcome electronic transmission. This entire process will bring accuracy and transparency in the judiciary which is in the interest of all.

The program was mediated by Advocate Satyam Tandon. During the program Bar Council President Suveer Sidhu and other noted lawyers also expressed their views on the subject.