Dare To Dream Beyond Supreme Court. Get Ready For E-Supreme Court!!

What was in the realm of fantasy till yesterday in now in the realm of reality, thanks to technological advancements. The author, a crusader for making legal justice affordable to the common man, argues that if setting up Benches of the Supreme Court in various cities is not possible then an alternative viable solution is for the Supreme Court to hear out-station matters by video-conferencing for the benefit of the common man. The pioneering steps taken in this regard by the Tribunal show that the concept is practical, feasible and cost-effective says the author

All India Federation of Tax Practioners have made a representation to Government of India from time to time to constitute four Benches of Apex court in different regions. The Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa vide letter dated 11/4/2000 also endorsed the view of the Federation. However, full Bench of the Apex Court was not in favor of having the Benches of Supreme Court in different regions. It seems the Government may not initiate the proposal to constitute Benches of Supreme Court in four regions. At present common man of our country cannot think of approaching the Apex Court for justice it is beyond his reach. Shri Ashok H. Desai, Sr. Advocate and Former Attorney General of India in his speech stated that every adjournment in Supreme Court costs the client minimum of about Rs.1 lakh. If this is the minimum cost for an adjournment, one can imagine how expensive it would be for citizens to approach the Supreme Court for justice.

One of the alternatives for regional benches of Apex Court could be to have E-Bench of Supreme Court. The hearing of the matter before the Apex court can be done by linking various High courts and affording facilities for arguing the matter before the Apex court sitting at respective High Court. E. Bench of the Supreme Court can take up the matters state wise e.g. One day could be for matters of Mumbai, one day could be matters from Chennai or other places etc. Initially an option may be given to the parties to hear the matters through E. Bench or regular Bench. The Income -tax Appellate Tribunal has started the E-Tribunal at Mumbai, the matters of Nagpur are heard by members sitting in Mumbai at Mumbai Bench. The experience is very satisfactory and both the assessee and the department are very happy with the functioning of this bench. E-Bench of Supreme Court may be initially started with SLP relating to direct and indirect tax matters. As per the concept, the litigants will be given an option to ‘opt in’ or ‘opt out’. If in case the litigants desire not to be heard by the E-Bench of Apex Court , he may have an option to opt out. This option would be given to him even at the time of hearing of matter by E-Bench of Apex Court. There will not be any prejudice caused to the assessee by hearing the matter before E-Bench of Apex Court, assessees will be given a full opportunity to represent the matter. For representing the matter before E-Bench of Apex Court a lawyer need not be tech savvy, he need not invest any amount on computers etc for making representation before the E- Bench of Apex Court. According to me, the concept of E-Benches of Apex Court will help the citizens. To begin with, the concept may be introduced in respect of Direct Taxes hearing with SLP arising from the orders from Bombay High Court. One Court of Bombay High Court may be converted in to E-Court.

The above suggestions are made objectively so that the desire of our Hon’ble Prime Minister to have an unpolluted, speedy and inexpensive justice is fulfilled. It will act as a shining star in the minds of people to respect and salute the judiciary, the torch bearer for an orderly and civilized society.

I am sure that for this noble cause, all political parties would whole heartedly support the Government. E-Bench of Income-tax Appellate Tribunal which started from 10th December 2012 is working very satisfactorily, there could be further improvement in the implementations. It is desired that the Hon’ble Law Minister, Parliamentary Committee and representatives from Apex Court must visit ITAT Mumbai and after satisfying with the working of E-Tribunal, thereafter take an appropriate decision.

A thought for debate.

Jai hind

Dr. K. Shivaram


Reproduced with permission from the AIFTP Journal, January 2013

9 comments on “Dare To Dream Beyond Supreme Court. Get Ready For E-Supreme Court!!
  1. jitendra says:

    Its a good suggestion as Initially it will start income tax matter from next it will start all cases other than civil
    it will definately reduce cost and get fast judgement

  2. vswami says:

    Friday, January 18, 2013E- Supreme Court – close on the heels of E-itat>

    Dare To Dream Beyond Supreme Court. Get Ready For E-Supreme Court!!

    To ‘dare’ or ‘dare to dream’ , either or both is going to cost nil, additionally; instead can result in saving, why then any reluctance or need to discuss or deliberate; instead make a further move in the intended direction!!

    By the way, going by an old lingering impression, – was not any litigant or his counsel , if so chooses, being permitted to put up his case / arguments in writing , for the court to consider and decide; that is , without physical appearance (open to be corrected )!

    May be, in any case, that is another alternative, which is equally worth deliberation by the law experts.

  3. pandipeddhi says:

    Misfeasors added to the co9llection 1940s in Britain and in its empire all over. so in Roncarelli v Duplesis (1959)6 DLR (2d) 689 at 707;… and like surfaced.
    Incidentallly, we find in a unwritten constitution bases Britain/UK today are much better administered by governance thanks to the power of judicial review in the UK and Commonwealth and even in British dominions but sad after democratic governments established in many former british ruled states today there is nothing but chaos in public administration today even in India, is it not? when so what is freedom is the question arises n the minds of public as freedom is not licence is it not?

  4. pandipeddhi says:

    Again see please, Misfeasance cases in public office where misfeasor(actor outside powers) are a plenty of public officers holding public office as such instances are day by day increasing in great number and such arbitrary actions soon will be handled by Torts Law, then only some control can settle on public office sponsored by government, as revenue leaks takes place due to failure of prudential atministration needed gets killed by misfeasors who contribute very serious unnecessary revenue expenditure of scarce resource called time and money with telling effects on public exchequer as also mounting costs on contributors of public exchequer, is it not. So prudential administration need to be insisted upon by every concerned citizen then thee can surface well sanitized public adinistration and pubmic management of scarce public resources and people or citizens can have a health democract as per Magna carta 1215 , is not?
    if uncontrolled situations and imprudent expenses take place, naturally what happened during King John’s time in 12th century in this 21st century is the clairvoyant vox populi ….!

  5. pandipeddhi says:

    Dear editor Dr.Shivram,
    i fully endorse your suggestion, after all speedy justice is the idea of ‘justice is done and justice seems to have been done is the doctrine of justice is it not sir!
    today public servants unnecessarily illegally bring action on people say assessees by not reading their own laid down procedural laws, naturally unnecessary expenses mount as a wasteful expenditure when resources are always scarce is the economic theory which is indeed always correct just because one sees every time revenue needs more moneys why its resourses deplete so the always look for more and more idea of taxing is it not and in this process, they behave arbitrarily, and every arbiitrary action leads to wasteful expenditure both to revenue as also assessees. one example sec 143(2) or 142(1) has limitation of 12 months but it is deliberately missed by revenue including at first appellate level and that means in the interest of getting more revenue the taxman flouts his own procedure which is called doctrine of self imposed Estoppel as Supreme court did in 1967 in Golaknath v st. of panjab, that is then cji K. Subba Rao when delivering majority judgement in 11 member bench made clear by adoption of doctrine of prospective ruling, he allowed first,fourth and seventeenth amendment, provded the parliament desists itself from further amending fundamental rights .
    That really paved the way for basic structure and in Kesavananda case when decided by 13 member bench brought in the basic structure that further after smt Indira Gandhi v Rajnarain, paved the way for cji Y K Sabharwal in 2007 jan judgement in IE Coelho v st of T.N, leading to strike down of schedule IX several enactments surfaced after 1967, in that way exiced the schedule IX in 1st amenment to constitution, is it not ? sir. i am subject to correction by any erudite scholars like Shivram.

  6. rajendra sharma says:

    In my view we should adopt quickly all technological opportunities to bring down xorbitant & unaffordable cost of litigation in courts expeditiously

  7. Rajendra A S says:

    Rally good move, for a common people the law at supreme court level becomes approachable. The name E-Court is also very well selected.

  8. J. C. Mistry says:

    Congratulations & Best of Luck

  9. Vikram says:

    Very good concept! Should be applied immediately from all over the Country – the litigant will be saved of all this travelling and other expensive lawyers at the SC – now lawyers at the local level can handle these matters even for the SC through E Court

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