Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is defined as any human communication that occurs through the use of two or more electronic devices. This tecnhique is indeed being adopted by the honourable Supreme Court Of India. The Chief Justice N.V.Ramana flanked by justices L.Nageswara Rao and A.S.Bopanna announced in open court the rolling out of a new scheme called “FASTER” or “Fast and Secure transmission of electronic records”. The use of this scheme would instantly, directly , securely and electronically transmit bail and other orders to jail authorities, district courts, high courts and tribunals. The Chief justice remarked that rolling out of this scheme is essential considering the fact that peope given bail by courts, even by the supreme court have to wait for days before prison authorities release them.” it is just too much”, he said.
The Chief justice heading specail bench, voiced the Supreme court’s displeasure at prison authorities who insist on receiving by hand the “authentic” hard copy of the bail order regardless of the fact that the personal liberty of the people is brushed aside.
The CJI said “in this age of information and communication technology, we are still looking at the skies for the pigeons to communicate the orders”.
The initiative was applauded by the Attorney general K.K.Venugopal.
The bench further passed orders requring the state governments to file their reports about the internet connectivity in thier jails to prevent and resolve technical glitches that might occur in the future. The Secretary General of the Supreme Court was directed to submit a comprehensive report within two weeks for formulating the scheme.
The basis of formulation
The hearing was based on a suo moto case , “Delay in release of convicts after grant of bail”, registered on the initiative of Chief justice Ramana to confront the problem which effects the liberty and dignity of the prisoners.
In recent times, 13 prisoners in Agra central jail who suffered imprisonment of upto two decades despite being decalred “juveniles” by the Juvenile Justice Board at the time the crime was commited by them. The Supreme Court Of India on july 8th granted bail to those 13 persons, but they were released after a delay of 4 days for cause being; the prison authorities needed a “authentic” hard copy.
Another event of that sort where prisoners were released after sometime after being granted bail is, when Pinjra tod actvists Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal and jamia Milia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha walked out of jail only with a delay of two days after bail was granted to them.
A true reform
This is a reform which will change lives eventually by protecting and taking cognizance of their personal liberty. The chief justice N.V.Ramana is seen stressing on personal liberty because once in 1975, when the emergency was declared he witnessed the taste of the poison; civil liberty being taken away. Justice Ramana said the Emergency taught him much about the “human tragedies of hunger, pain and suffering”. Chief Justice Ramaana, recounted his flight in 1975, as an 18-year-old student, from imminent arrest in a lorry to his maternal aunt’s home with ₹10 in his pocket.