Greater use of ADR, technology to reduce court cases: N Chandrasekaran

The use of technology in judicial functioning is a fascinating area and a significant breakthrough, he said.
Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran on Friday made a strong case for greater use of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism and technology to reduce the number of cases pending in different courts.

Observing that India's judicial system has a huge capacity issue, he said around 30 million cases are pending across various courts, as per the National Judicial Data Grid.

"If you take high courts and Supreme Court, we have over 4.5 million cases that are pending," he said while addressing a centenary celebration programme of eminent jurist Nani Palkhivala, organised by Sastra University.

"Typically case takes 4-5 years for resolution and normally 40 per cent of the total disputed settlement is already spent during this period, but if you take into account the time value of money and other calculations, almost 100 per cent is gone.

"From a corporate sector point of view, the estimated number is around Rs 45,000 crore per annum. So I think it's a huge overhead, huge spend, huge inefficiency which needs to be addressed. At this time, a subject like alternative dispute resolution or ADR is something that can make an enormous difference," he said.

Modalities and systems are required to give confidence to both the disagreeing parties that a settlement or judgement can happen with little or no litigation, Chandrasekaran said, adding that the time is right both for ADR and artificial intelligence.

He said any societal problem of India can be solved by the use of technology but not by technology alone.

"Solution happens when we can remove the jargons of technology...You have to make sure that artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analytics, cloud... all of these in combination can be made to solve large societal problems by putting them in the hands of large masses - people who are skilled or non-skilled," he said.

Earlier this year, Chief Justice S A Bobde had underlined the need for artificial intelligence in the judicial system, especially in cases of repetitive nature and document management, to expedite the dispute resolution process.

The use of technology in judicial functioning is a fascinating area and a significant breakthrough, he had said.

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