India's First District Level Paperless E-Court at Karkardooma Courts, Delhi View Photos
e-Court Conference in News!
The Conference on e-Courts: Present and Future was highly appreciated by one and all. The members from the judicial and technical fraternity acknowledged the initiatives taken by the High Court of Delhi and C-DAC towards the advent of paperless courts. The challenges without the existence of such a system were discussed and it was hence concluded that e-Courts today are imperative and not a luxury. Mr. Salman Khurshid, Union Minister for Law and Justice and Mr. Justice A.K Sikri, Acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Delhi commending the work done in this respect acknowledged that such a system will bring transparency not only for the judiciary but most importantly for the litigants.
Over three million cases are pending in India's 21 High Courts and an astounding 26.3 million cases are pending in subordinate Courts across the country & only 14.7 Judges available per million people. With further growth in the number of cases increased the burden on our judicial system manifold. The cost and inefficiency of dealing with records has crept up slowly over time and become extremely unwieldy, inefficient and cumbersome. On the other hand if we see the efforts of the other investigating agencies like police, jails, forensic labs, hospitals etc in extracting information from accused, undertrials & evidences etc is enormous and extremely complex. Massive cost, time and risk are involved in bringing the accused, witnesses, reports etc to the courts. India is on the verge of technology revolution that enables law agencies to manage the case proceeding in electronic format, leading over paper-centric judicial scenario. This has also given birth to this new idea; adjudication through e-courts.
The rapid accumulation & slow disposal rate of pending cases has increased burden on our judicial system tremendously. Courts had to maintain all the records in physical manner i.e. either in files or registers and to keep such large data in paper form is not easy to retrieve and also not even safe and is prone to physical tempering & environmental degradation. The case takes long time to solve and apart from this Cases/Judges/Courts keeps on changing during the course of judgment. Even the witnesses and accused keep on changing their statements and turns hostile. It is always difficult for the new Judges to retrieve the case information & status; so far the available source is the written information in the case files only. As far as police & jails are concern, they already cramped for resources in dealing and bringing accused and undertrials to the courts. Similarly experts from Hospitals and forensic labs faced severe difficulties in presenting their investigating reports in front of courts. Therefore, there is a definite scope of bringing ICT to help and develop Case Record Management System for courtroom and to conserve the case file & audio/visual record for future references.