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16th August 2023 (8 Topics)

CJI announces plan to expand Supreme Court (SC) Infrastructure

Context

Recently, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) has announced a plan to expand the Supreme Court with 27 additional courts and 51 judges’ chambers with other amenities for lawyers and litigants.

Currently, the Supreme Court has 17 courtrooms and two registrar courts. Its judicial strength as of now is 32.

About the Information:

  • While addressing the Independence Day celebrations organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), the CJI has emphasised the need to overhaul court infrastructure on priority to make them accessible and inclusive.
  • According to the update, there is a plan to expand the Supreme Court by constructing a new building to accommodate;
    • 27 additional courts,
    • 51 judges’ chambers,
    • 4 registrar court rooms,
    • 16 registrar chambers, and
    • Other requisite facilities for lawyers and litigants.
  • The expansion of the Supreme Court will be done through the proposed two-phase project;
    • In the first phase, the court museum and annexe building would be demolished to construct a new building with 15 courtrooms, judges’ chambers, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) library, and offices for the SCBA and Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAoRA) office-bearers, canteen, women lawyers bar room and other facilities.
    • In the Second phase, some of the portion of the existing court complex would be demolished for the construction of the second part of the new building to accommodate 12 courtrooms, judges’ chambers, registrar courts, and lounge for SCBA and SCAoRA.
  • Importance of Technology:
    • Phase III of the e-Courts project seeks to revolutionise the working of courts in India by inter-linking of all courts across the country, setting up the infrastructure of paperless court, digitisation of court records, and setting up advanced e-sewa kendras in all court complexes.

Significance:

  • The new building will reflect the constitutional aspirations, beliefs, and priorities of the Indian people, in addition to providing a space which facilitates access to justice.

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA):

  • The Supreme Court Bar Association has been constituted for upholding, maintaining and consolidation of the constitutional values of democracy, rule of law and independence of Judiciary.
  • Senior Advocate Adish Aggarwala is the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).

Bar Association and Bar Councils:

  • Bar associations are organizations of advocates working in particular courts while bar councils work on state leval and enrolle advocates and the Bar Council is a central body.

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