Urgent letter to Supreme Court e‑Committee for extension of the deadline

by Shraddha Mahilkar

On 27 April, the Internet Democracy Project along with 15 organisations endorsed the statement to request an immediate extension of public consultation for the e-courts phase 3 vision report.

Please see the text of the letter below.

To,
Hon’ble Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Chairperson & the other Members of E‑committee, Supreme Court of India, New Delhi

Sub: Requesting immediate extension of public consultation for e‑courts phase 3 vision report

We welcome the Supreme Court E‑Committee’s decision to put the draft vision document in public domain for consultation. We also welcome the decision to extend the deadline for submission of comments until May 7th, 2021, from the earlier deadline.

The document can be accessed here — https://​cdnbb​sr​.s3waas​.gov​.in/​s​388​e​f​51​f​0​b​f​911​e​452​e​8​d​b​b​1​d​807​a​81​a​b​/​u​p​l​o​a​d​s​/​2021​/​04​/​2021040344.pdf

However, the conditions in various parts of the nation are currently extremely grim, with the raging second-wave of the pandemic. Several members and organizations of the civil-society are either battling the pandemic themselves or firefighting to help people who are affected by this national emergency.

We wish to hereby record our serious concern that the current circumstances will prevent many interested citizens and civil society groups, such as the undersigned, from participating in the consultation within the current deadline, making it less than meaningful.

Therefore, we respectfully request you to immediately extend this deadline by at least another four weeks at this instance.

We also request the Committee to hold virtual open houses with concerned persons to further broad base the consultation.

We believe such an important vision of digitization and creation of virtual courts, which has vast and profound implications on people’s rights — including the right to access justice, cannot be reasonably and effectively deliberated under the current circumstances in this short duration.

We hope that our concerns are taken on board and our request for the deadline extension is acceded to, making the process of consultation meaningful.

Regards,

Article 21 Trust

Endorsement:

List of organisations:

  1. Article 21 Trust
  2. Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project
  3. Detention Solidarity Network
  4. Free Software Movement of India
  5. Hasgeek
  6. Internet Democracy Project
  7. Internet Freedom Foundation
  8. Justice Adda
  9. Maadhyam
  10. Majdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
  11. National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM)
  12. People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
  13. Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC)
  14. Swathanthra Malayalam Computing
  15. The Bachchao Project