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It is the responsibility of the judges to make the decision understandable, why did CJI Chandrachud say – not Judge Rajkumar

New Delhi: Chief Justice of the country D.Y. Chandrachud said Indian courts have been reimagined as a democratic system of deliberation rather than an imposed ’empire’. He said that judges are neither princes nor emperors, who can pretend that they will write such judgments which no one can understand. Justice Chandrachud said that as judges we are neither princes nor emperors who consider ourselves above the need to explain what the verdict is. The Chief Justice was addressing the J-20 summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Wednesday on the theme ‘Digital transformation and use of technology to enhance judicial efficiency’. J-20 is a group of chief justices of supreme courts and constitutional courts whose members are G-20 countries. This year the J-20 conference has been organized by the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court. It is likely that his statement is a product of the experience of reading previous decisions of the Supreme Court and High Court. Let us tell you that the decisions of the courts may be clearly written, but to the average educated people of India, they would seem like an unknown language (Greek or Latin). In particular, it becomes even more difficult for them to understand decisions spread over hundreds of pages on important issues. A prime example of this is the historic Kesavananda Bharti decision of 1973.

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Justice Chandrachud said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the systems of the courts had to be changed overnight. He also spoke about the digital divide and representation disparity between litigants and places with low connectivity. Describing these disparities as obstacles, the Chief Justice said, we have to deal with them. When we talk about judicial efficiency, we must look beyond the efficiency of the judge and think about the judicial process as a whole. Efficiency lies not only in the outcomes but also in the processes that should ensure free and fair hearings.
The Chief Justice said that the potential of technology lies in how we transform it to reduce the inequalities that already exist. Technology is not a panacea for all social inequalities. He said, the threats from complex issues like AI-profiling, algorithmic bias, misinformation, exposure of sensitive information and ambiguity of black box models in AI must be tackled with sustained deliberate efforts and commitment.
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