Dear Brothers & Sisters,
The technology is governing our life so much that it is virtually becoming impossible to live without adopting technology and becoming familiar with the latest gazettes.
It is also changing very fast and has brought revolution in the medical and legal feilds; the latest is available at our finger tips. It is many time difficult for the senior members to adopt the new technology as they are not used to it and also do not like to venture outside their comfort zone. This is true for all as is exhibited by the GST introduction.
The tax departments are aggressively heading for newer technology, we are now seeing e-assessment-appeals, e-tribunal hearings and probably in near future e-apex court benches to facilitate the far flung places to get justice at affordable cost.
I will expect that concerned departments must take proper care to have efficient software, trained personals to handle the work and glitches free portal. It is seen that in case of e-assessment the memory space provided for uploading the documents is very little and it is going to cause problem for assessees and professionals to effectively put-up their case supported by proper evidence. I am afraid that lacuna will result into unwanted additions and frivolous litigations that will defeat the object of CBDT.
Here it is important for us to organise workshops at zonal level to train our members for making compliances, this will help in adaptation of technology and facilitate smooth working.
The Apex Court off late has expressed its opinion in the case of Pradyuman Bisht v. U.O.I that CCTV cameras are norm of the day will help in promoting good governance and transperancy in court working .
The honourable Chief Justice of India Justice Deepak Mishra, Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Justice D. Y. Chandrachud Bench has principally agreed for live streaming of court working and expressed that it is permissible and also feasible. However I believe that it requires debate on the issue opinion of concerned persons that is – advocates, litigants and other stake holders should be called and considered by the Apex Court.
There is proposal to install CCTV Cameras in Income Tax Tribunal and other Tribunals also. In my opinion it can be done on trial basis in selected benches and if found conducive can be introduced in all benches. It will have its own advantages in the form of patient and detailed hearings will help new-comers to learn the art of advocacy. Litigants will be in a position to judge the competence of their advocates. It will also help in avoiding the saying that “I may not know the law but I know the judge “.
I am afraid it may result into more time consuming hearings and will create pressure in the back of the mind of advocate and judges alike. In any case we will have to get used to changes and introduction of technology in every field of life. It is going to bring sea changes in the working of all concerned.
Let us hope for the best.
Ganesh N. Purohit