No need to use watermarks on judgements/orders : SC to HCs

On Monday, Hon’ble Justice DY Chandrachud expressed that High Courts and Tribunals must not place watermarks on their judgements and orders as it hampers easy access to documents.

Justice Chandrchud remarked that there is no need to place watermarks to show authenticity as, nowadays, judgements can be signed digitally.

These remarks were made when the Bench was hearing a case relating to the judgement passed by the NGT. Incidentally, NGT places watermarks on all its judgements.

The Bench remarked that it is challenging to read watermarked orders, especially on Fridays and Mondays when the Court goes through many SLPs.

Senior Counsel V Giri who appeared in the case, pointed out that many high courts use watermarks on their orders, and Telangana and Madras High Courts put it in the middle of the page.

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Hon’ble Justice Chandrachud replied that he is aware of the practice and will take it up with the Supreme Court E Committee. Hon’ble Justice Shah added that in some judgements, the font is small and stated that he gets worried when he comes across orders from a particular NCDRCn member as the person uses 7 or 8 size font in his orders/judgements.

Another Senior Counsel who was present in the Court suggested that there should be a standard format across all Tribunals and High Courts. To this, Justice Chandrachud replied that the task was in the works.

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