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The Government by the year end as part of the Supreme Court monitored é-courts’ project aimed at improving access to justice through digitisation of judicial system of more than 3993 districts.
The e-courts programme seeks to enable litigants to track their case status, across çause list’daily orders as well as verdicts online. A Çause List’ is schedule of cases to be heard by a court.
- Manual work in the court is one of the reason for India’s high judiciary pendency, which refers to delays in disposing cases.
- The National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) shows there were over 4.2 million cases pending in 24 high courts until February 2018.
- According to economic servey 2017-18, the average pendency of tax cases is nearly 6 years per case. further, the survey states that the average pendency of civil suits at the Delhi High Court is 5.84 years, while at lower courts of Delhi is 3.66 years.
- The NJDG is an online platform that now provides information on proceedings and decisions of 16,089 computerised district-level courts.
Under the latest phase of the e-courts programme, the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will connect subordinate courts with ‘wide area network’ connectivity or WAN at a cost of ` 167 crores. WAN is a technology that links computernetworks across large geographic areas.
- “The next step should be to enable complete online disposal of cases where the penalty is limited to monetary value, such as challan matters and municipal tax cases. This will considerably ease burden of the common man,” said Mayank Tiwari, Assistant Professor of the National Law University, Cuttack.
- Phase I of the e-courts project was implemented from 2011 to 2015.
- Phase II of the project has a run period between 2015 and 2019, with an outlay ` 1,670 crore. Electronic filing and online payment of court fees is now enabled in Telangana, Andrha Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Haryana. At the end of phase I, 14,249 district and lower courts were made ready for computerisation, according to data from the justice department.
- Over 14,000 judicial officers were trained in the use of an “UBUNTU-Linux Operating System” and more than 4,000 court personnel were trained in the case information system (CIS), official data show. Video-conferencing facilities between 488 court complexes and 342 corresponding jails were also installed.