Judicial Reforms

Plea in Supreme Court seeks ‘Uniform Judicial Code’ for HCs

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Uniform Judicial Code

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court to implement a “Uniform Judicial Code (UJC)” for High Courts across the country to adopt a uniform set of procedures, especially for virtual courts.

What is the PIL about?

  • The petition urged the apex court to take appropriate steps to adopt uniform procedure for case registration, use common judicial terms, phrases and abbreviations and make the court fee uniform.
  • It has, alternatively, sought a direction to the Law Commission of India to prepare a report in consultation with the HC in this regard.

Why need UJC?

  • Matter of Equality: Judicial equality is a matter of constitutional right, its differentiation based on the jurisdiction of courts violates the right to equality.
  • Different nomenclatures: All the 25 High Courts have different usage of the phrases when it comes to identifying different cases.
  • Diverse procedures: The PIL plea highlighted how different High Courts follow different procedures in matters pertaining to virtual courts, started during the pandemic.
  • Different fees: Unequal court fees in different states discriminate among citizens based on their place of birth and residence. Moreover, it promotes regionalism; hence it is a clear violation of Articles 14-15.

Way forward: Bringing in digitized Judiciary systems

  • The judiciary needs to develop a well-defined framework supported by an accessible platform and direct e-court system in India.
  • It also needs to harp on advanced infrastructure to run an e-court system that eradicates the digital divide, simultaneously upping judicial functioning.
  • While the digitized judicial systems give some semblance of convenience for the people who interact with the court, digitization also brings threats of intrusion etc.

 

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