Explained: What is the Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records (FASTER) system introduced by the Supreme Court of India?
Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records: The apex court of India has introduced an electronic system named Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records (FASTER) through which its crucial decisions can be communicated electronically to prison authorities and investigating agencies via a secure communication channel.
“It is proposed that the e-authenticated copies of the record of proceedings/orders, digitally signed by the authorised officer may be transmitted through FASTER [Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records] system to the duty-holders of the justice system,” the report said.
A special three-judge bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice Nageswara Rao and Justice Surya Kant has ordered State Governments, Union Territories, prison departments and other concerned authorities to make arrangements at prisons for the acceptance of e-authenticated copies.
The introduction of the FASTER system came after CJI's observation in court on 16 July 2021. The court was hearing a Suo Moto case-- In Re: Delay in release of convicts after granting of bail.
Around 13 inmates of Agra jail suffered imprisonment for up to two decades despite the Juvenile Justice Board declaring them ‘juveniles’ at the time of the commission of their crimes. They were granted bail by the SC on 8 July 2021 but were released after four days by the prison authorities.
About Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records
Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records or FASTER will help in the transmission of e-authenticated copies of interim orders, bail orders, stay orders, and records of proceedings to the duty-holders at prisons for compliance and due execution through a secured electronic communication channel.
FASTER: What is the need for such a system?
There have been cases in the past where the inmates were not released by the prison authorities despite bail orders passed by the court as the certified hard copies of their bail orders reached the prison late.
Thus, for smooth transmission of court's orders and effective implementation of Article 21, Right to Life, such a system was the need of the hour.
What is the significance of the Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records system?
The system would help prevent unnecessary arrest and custody of individuals who were already granted protection by the Supreme Court. It may further communicate a stay on the execution ordered by the final court on time.
It is to be noted that the Rules and Handbook on Practice and Procedure of the Court enable the Registry to transmit a certified copy of the judgment or order either in physical or electronic form.
What are the challenges associated with the system introduced by the Supreme Court?
The availability of internet connection in prisons pan India is a major requirement for the smooth and secure transmission of the crucial orders issued by the court.