‘Bharat’ is present and future of world, says Solicitor General Tushar Mehta

New Delhi: ‘Bharat’ is the present and future of the world, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta asserted Saturday, as he extolled India’s growing economic power which is attracting foreign investment like never before.

Bharat, he said, is leading the world in terms of digital payment, and justice is being delivered to the litigants at their doorstep because of the government’s initiative for digitisation.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) two-day ‘International Lawyers Conference 2023’ here, Mehta said there are 21,000 district courts, 25 high courts and the Supreme Court in the country, and now every document of every court is available in digitised format that anybody can access.

“Bharat is the present and the future of the world. Even during the COVID period between 2019 and 2022, our country got the maximum foreign direct investment, and people are trusting our country even for legal adjudication,” Mehta said.

He described the two-day event, the first in India, as the beginning of an era in which the Indian judiciary and lawyers will be able to share the finer nuances of their legal system with their foreign counterparts and vice versa.

The SG said India has entered an era where it has achieved “100 per cent” direct investment through automatic route, an entirely transparent process.

“Our country is becoming an economic powerhouse in the world. In the last decade, under the visionary leadership of the prime minister, we have taken several statutory steps, making new laws, policies and initiatives as a result of which India has jumped to 79th position in the index of ease of doing business,” he said.

Mehta said just before the function started, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice of the United Kingdom Alex Chalk KC, who was also present on the dias during the event, asked him about how digitisation was working in India.

The government’s law officer said under the “visionary leadership” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India now has 760 million mobile internet users, with a new user joining every 3 seconds.

“That’s the position of our country in digitisation. Now justice is delivered literally at the doorstep because of digitisation,” he said.

“Our country ‘Bharat’ is not behind anyone but is leading the world in terms of digital payment, and I would be very happy to share with you that the total digital payments which are made in India, because of the visionary leadership, is seven times (more than) that of United States of America and European Union put together. Our digital payment is three times the population of China,” Mehta asserted.

He said digitisation has not only helped the Indian judiciary in the administration of justice but also served the cause of humanity because the goal of the government is not just justice, as per the legal books, but social, economic and political justice.

Stressing that social justice is not possible without providing a good health mechanism to the nation, Mehta said when the world faced the COVID pandemic, which was one of the biggest known human tragedies, India not only developed indigenous vaccines but the government went to the extent of administering 2.2 billion vaccine doses free of cost.

Calling it a “miracle”, the law officer said this was possible only because of digitisation.

He said the government has also formulated a policy based on digitisation called tele law, which brings justice to the doorstep of the last man standing in the line.

He said an individual has to just dial a number and he would get free legal advice from eminent lawyers who have been persuaded to work free of cost.

Mehta also talked about the initiatives to make the Supreme Court’s functioning paperless.

The apex court has launched a platform called ‘Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvad Software’ which is capable of translating the judgments and orders of the top court in nine vernacular languages on a real-time basis, he said, adding this is also a “miracle” in itself.

Mehta concluded his speech by saying “More and more litigation will come, more and more people. Litigants will trust our justice system, particularly arbitration and mediation, and we as the legal fraternity members will have to rise to the occasion so that our country continues to be the future of the world”.

CJI D Y Chandrachud was the chief guest at the event that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice of the United Kingdom Alex Chalk KC, Attorney General for India R Venkataramani, Bar Council of India chairman and senior advocate Manan Kumar Mishra and others, including several judges of the apex court, were also present at the event.