Supreme Court nod for e-transfer of orders to jails for quick prisoner release

Supreme Court nod for e-transfer of orders to jails for quick prisoner release thumbnail

Prisoners granted bail will no longer have to wait for physical copy of the order to reach jails for their release. In a major reform, the Supreme Court on Thursday gave the go-ahead to implement a system for electronic transmission of its orders.

“The FASTER (Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records) system proposes transmission of e-authenticated copies of interim orders, stay orders, bail orders and record of proceedings to the duty-holders for compliance and due execution, through a secured electronic communication channel,” the court said.

In July, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana had hit upon the idea after it took suo motu cognizance of a matter regarding delayed release of prisoners even after grant of bail. The court directed the SC secretary-general to submit a proposal suggesting the modalities to implement the FASTER system.

After perusing the proposal submitted by the secretary-general, a bench of the CJI and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant said on Thursday, “We are concerned about the plight of jail inmates, who are not released despite bail orders passed by this court due to delay in communication of such orders. It is high time to utilise information and communication technology tools for efficient transmission of court’s orders.”

The bench pointed out that 19 states had filed affidavits stating availability of internet facility in prisons, four had pleaded non-availability/partial availability; the others did not file affidavits.

The court directed chief secretaries of all States and Union Territories to ensure availability of internet facilities with adequate speed in each jail. “Till then, communication shall be made through Nodal Officers of State Governments under FASTER system,” the order said. It directed that necessary changes in rules of the SC and high courts “to recognise e-authenticated copy of the order of this Court” be done “forthwith”.

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