THE CONTEXT: The Supreme Court has stated that it has undertaken to frame a system to ensure that bail orders are sent electronically to jail authorities.
- The Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI)NV Ramana and Justices L Nageswara Rao and AS Bopanna made the observation while hearing the suo motu case regarding delay in releasing convicts by prison authorities even after being granted bail by courts.
- The top court noted took exception to the fact the prisons do not release inmates even after court passes orders to that effect and instead wait for orders to be sent by post.
- “In this age of information and communication technology, we are still looking at the skies for pigeons to communicate orders, “CJI Ramana said.
- “Prisoners are waiting for Supreme Court orders to be sent by post. We had ordered release in some matters and they were not released since they did not receive authentic copy of orders. This is too much,” he added.
WHAT IS THE NEW SYSTEM?
- The procedure is termed as FASTER(Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records) System, for transmission of e-authenticated copies of the Judgments /final orders/interim orders to the concerned Courts / Tribunals and other duty holders for execution.
- New scheme announced by Supreme Court is to reduce time period of communication of court orders to jail authorities.
- Under this scheme, Supreme Court would instantly, directly, securely and electronically transmit bail and other orders to jail authorities, district courts and High Courts.
- The Secretary General of the Supreme Court was directed to submit a comprehensive report formulating the scheme within two weeks.
- The Court has also directed all states to answer whether jails in states have proper internet facility since it will be needed to access the secure system for transmission of orders being put in place.
BACKGROUND OF THE ISSUE
- Recently, the Supreme Court had granted interim bail to 13 convicts lodged in Agra Central Jail.
- The order was passed on July 8 but the convicts walked out of jail after four days, since the prison authorities stated that they did not receive the certified copy of the order by post.
- The convicts had spent between 14 and 20 years in prison despite being juveniles at the time of committing the crimes