CJI announces launch of ‘neutral citations' for SC judgements

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CJI DY Chandrachud | Photo: ANI

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud on Thursday announced launch of 'neutral citations' which would ensure a uniform pattern of citing the decisions of the Supreme Court.

The apex court had earlier said that steps have been taken for introduction and implementation of a uniform, reliable and secure methodology for identifying and citing decisions in the apex court, namely the 'neutral citations system', to ensure a uniform pattern of citing all the decisions of the top court.

As soon as a bench headed by the CJI assembled on Thursday to hear mentioning of matters for urgent listing, Justice Chandrachud announced that all judgements of the apex court will have neutral citations.

"We have launched neutral citations. All judgements of this court will have neutral citations," the CJI said, adding around 30,000 verdicts of the apex court will have neutral citations.

He said hopefully, the high courts will also follow.

Justice Chandrachud said the apex court is also employing machine learning tools which would translate its verdicts from English to Indian languages.

"So far, 2,900 judgements have already been translated into Hindi," the CJI said.

He said sometimes translations by using technology can be difficult.

Citing an example, the CJI said if the judges in the apex court say "leave granted", it may be literally translated in Hindi as 'avakash prapt hogya'.

He said there is a team of district judges and law researchers assisting in the process to check the translated versions of the judgements.

The CJI also talked about the other initiative, the Electronic Supreme Court Reports (e-SCR) project, which is aimed at providing free access to its about 34,000 judgements to lawyers, law students and the common public.

On January 2 this year, Justice Chandrachud had announced the launch of the e-SCR project.

The apex court would also introduce neutral citations, he had said, adding that Delhi and Kerala high courts already have it.

The CJI had said a committee comprising three judges of the high courts has been constituted to work on the process of neutral citations.

Lawyers, while arguing in courts, refer to the reported judgements supporting their matters by using law journals including 'Supreme Court Reports'.

The e-SCR project is an initiative to provide the digital version of the apex court's judgments in the manner as they are reported in the official law report – 'Supreme Court Reports'.


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