Supreme Court Launches Regional Language Judgements Service

The Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud, recently launched a new Supreme Court service that will provide apex court judgements in various Indian scheduled languages, starting from Republic Day. This is a significant step in providing access to justice in regional languages, making the legal system more inclusive and accessible to people who are not fluent in English.

The e-SCR Project

  • The service will be operationalized as part of the electronic-Supreme Court Reports (e-SCR) project, which has been developed to make available verdicts in some scheduled languages free of cost.
  • The e-SCR project is an initiative to provide free access to the apex court's judgments, which will be beneficial for lawyers, law students, and the general public. The e-SCR project has nearly 34,000 judgments and an elastic search facility, and it will now have 1,091 judgments in regional languages that will be launched tomorrow on the Republic Day.

Judgements in Regional Languages

  • As the Chief Justice of India stated, "We have 21 in Oriya, 14 in Marathi, four in Assamese... 17 in Kannada... 29 in Malayalam, three in Nepali, four in Punjabi, 52 already in Tamil, 28 in Telugu, and three in Urdu." The CJI said the apex court was on "a mission" to provide its judgements in all scheduled languages.
  • There are 22 languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri. With this new service, people will be able to access legal information in the language they are most comfortable with, making the legal system more accessible and inclusive.

Access to Judgements

  • The judgements, as part of the e-SCR project, will be available on the apex court website, its mobile app, and on the judgment portal of the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG). This will ensure that people from all over the country can access the information easily, regardless of their location. The top court, on January 2, had announced the launch of the electronic Supreme Court Reports (e-SCR) project to provide free access to its about 34,000 judgements to lawyers, law students, and the common public.

Importance of Law Journals

  • Lawyers, while arguing in courts, refer to the reported judgements supporting their matters by using law journals including the 'Supreme Court Reports'.
  • The Electronic Supreme Court Reports (e-SCR) project was an initiative to provide the digital version of the apex court's judgments in the manner as they are reported in the official law report – 'Supreme Court Reports'. This is a valuable resource for lawyers and law students as they can access case law in a digital format, which is more convenient and accessible than traditional print copies.

Search Engine

  • The Supreme Court has developed a search engine with the help of the National Informatics Centre comprising elastic search technique in the database of e-SCR and the search facility in e-SCR provides for free text search, search within search, case type and case year search, judge search, year and volume search and bench strength search options. This will make it easier for people to find the information they need quickly and efficiently.

Synopsis

Overall, the launch of the Supreme Court service that will provide apex court judgements in various Indian scheduled languages is a significant step towards providing access to justice in regional languages. This will make the legal system more inclusive and accessible to people who are not fluent in English. The e-SCR project is a valuable resource for lawyers and law students, and the search engine will make it easier for people to find the information they need quickly and efficiently. It is a mission of the Apex court to provide its judgements in all scheduled languages, this initiative is a step towards that goal.

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