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Digitalisation of Indian Judiciary

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August 26, 2021

What is the issue?

Though technology can be a game changer, concerns remain regarding its efficiency in providing solutions to the problems of the judicial courts.

What are the major problems in the courts?

  • Massive backlog of cases - According to the National Judicial Data Grid, the pendency of cases rose sharply by 18.2% between 2019-2020 in case of district courts.
  • Judicial vacancies - More than 4 out of every 10 posts of High Court judges remain vacant as on August 1, 2021.

What are the initiatives towards digitisation?

  • The e-Courts project was conceptualized with a vision to transform the Indian Judiciary by ICT enablement of Courts.
  • The e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India recently released its draft vision document for Phase III of the e-Courts project.
  • The Supreme Court has directed all the courts to extensively use video-conferencing for judicial proceedings in the wake of the pandemic.
  • In May 2020, the Supreme Court introduced a new system of e-filing and artificial intelligence-enabled referencing.

 What are the challenges?

  • Inadequate digital literacy across the country
  •  Inadequate digital penetration
  • Issues of bandwidth and connectivity, particularly in remote and inaccessible regions
  • Absence of adequate digital infrastructure
  • Concerns regarding cybersecurity
  • Lack of trained manpower to maintain e-courts record
  • Unfamiliarity to handle cases virtually

How can it be addressed?

  • Adequate training of manpower including judges
  • Tailoring systems  according to the specifications and contexts required
  • Upgrading the current infrastructure
  • Developing a robust security system that provides secured access to case information

 

Source: The Hindu

Quick facts

e-Courts Project

  • The e-Courts Project was conceptualized on the basis of the National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary – 2005” submitted by e-Committee, Supreme Court of India
  • It is a Pan-India Project, monitored and funded by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India
  • Phases I and II had dealt with digitisation of the judiciary - e-filing, tracking cases online, uploading judgments online, etc
  • Phase III plans to upgrade the electronic infrastructure of the judiciary.
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