Constitutional courts are obligated to protect the rights and liberties of people and cases involving custody of persons must be heard on priority, Covid-19 pandemic notwithstanding, former Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar opined on Thursday. .Custody is a harsh reality today, he said adverting to detention of protestors, political prisoners, students and rivals in matters of religious faith and making out the case for prioritising hearing of such matters. ."We notice today, detention of protestors, sedition, political rivals, in matters of religious faith and students. Custody is a very very harsh reality…The impact of criminal law is so serious that a single day of incarceration or a longer term in jail is devastating……If a detention is mistaken, no one can return or compensate that part of life. I would, therefore, consider it legitimate to prioritize case of persons in custody," he said..Justice Khehar was delivering the key note address at an event organized by High Court of Karnataka and Karnataka State Legal Services Authority in association with with Karnataka State Bar Council and Advocates Association, Bengaluru to commemorate "Constitution Day". .The event was on the subject "Access to Justice during COVID-19 through use of Technology"..Justice Khehar said that it is the duty of all constitutional courts to protect the fundamental rights and liberties of all, "the have's and have not". In fact, all issues related to fundamental rights must be prioritized by the Courts, he added. .We notice today, detention of protestors, sedition, political rivals, in matters of religious faith and students. Custody is a very very harsh reality.Justice JS Khehar.The submission made by the government before the Supreme Court about migrant workers walking back home amid the COVID-19 pandemic also found a mention in ex CJI's address. ."Despite extensive media coverage, a submission was made before the Supreme Court that there are no migrants walking back home. As against this, thankfully, the High Courts of Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Madras, having noticed the pain borne by the migrant workers, through media coverage, passed appropriate orders....These instances of interference are indicative of a court in motion, of a court aiming its work to the preservation of the fundamental rights of its citizens," he said..In his speech, Justice Khehar also batted for digital filing stating that courts would be paperless and the same would save the environment as well. Interestingly, it was Justice Khehar, who during his tenure as CJI set in motion the drive towards complete digitisation and introduced a new website for the Supreme Court. The project had gone into cold storage after his retirement before Covid-19 pandemic struck giving the programme a fresh impetus. .Despite extensive media coverage, a submission was made before the Supreme Court that there are no migrants walking back homeJustice JS Khehar.Justice Khehar also called for an upgrade in the infrastructure of virtual courts so as to ensure that efficiency as well as accessibility to courts is not affected. .New website of Supreme Court of India launched; Digital filing to overhaul the existing system.Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, in his speech, underscored the significance of Constitution Day saying it is a reminder to every one who is a part of the judiciary to uphold the rights of the people. .Like health workers, those who are part of judiciary must become Covid warriors by ensuring that the functioning of the Court is least affected so that the litigants are not at the receiving end, Justice Oka opined. ."One cannot forget the role of the judiciary in upholding the Constitution, which withstood the test of time", opined Justice BV Nagarathna. .She also proceed to quote Justice Vivian Bose, who said that Constitution is not filled with "dull, lifeless words" but "living flames intended to give life to a great nation and order its being, tongues of dynamic fire, potent to mould the future as well as guide the present"..The webinar, which was attended by other High Courts judges and advocates, concluded with a vote of thanks.