SC judge calls for e-courts to deliver quicker justice

Citing high pendency of cases across the country as a big challenge, Supreme Court judge Justice B Lokur today batted for setting up of e-courts and said it is high time the obsolete and outdated systems are done away with.

Dehradun: Citing high pendency of cases across the country as a big challenge, Supreme Court judge Justice B Lokur today batted for setting up of e-courts and said it is high time the obsolete and outdated systems are done away with.

Advocating easy access to justice, Lokur said that quicker ways of justice delivery should be brought in by setting up e-courts, digitising cases, computerisation of courts and video conferencing between jails and courts.

"There are more than 3 crore pending cases in district courts, 44 lakh in High Courts and 63,000 in the Supreme Court," Lokur said during an interactive session with 70 law interns from law schools and universities across the world, yesterday.

Justice Lokur said in a country like India that has a large number of IT professionals passing out every year, it is unfortunate that court cases drag on for decades and "justice is often not done or inordinately delayed".

Underlining the importance of e-courts, Lokur said that the concept is beneficial for all stakeholders as in this system, recording of the entire case proceedings, including depositions of the witnesses is through electronic mode which can be accessed at any point of time as and when required.

He also highlighted that the process would save the trouble of going through the hard copy of records, "which is often a tedious and long drawn out process".

"Access to justice should be easy. So the Supreme Court has set up an e-committee that is working towards digitalising all the cases and uploading information on internet," Justice Lokur said, adding the computerisation of courts is being done in 2 phases.

Phase 1 will cover availability of hardware, developing software to computerise the system, training judges and court staff to access computers.

Over 1,00,000 staff is being trained across the country for the purpose, and video conferencing between jails and courts is being initiated in 5 states including Uttrakhand, he said.

Phase 2 will cover SMS services, scanning of document, e-filing of cases, cloud computing, and availability of videos of training material online.

Both phases are expected to be implemented by 2016.

"The entire existing filing of a court has to be converted into e-court. Hence one can view any file of the e-court in digitised form by searching for the same date-wise, name-wise or Act/Section wise.

"The overall impact of establishment of e-court will result in quick disposal of cases and bring more transparency in the functioning of the courts," the judge said.

An MoU was also signed on the occasion between Rural Litigation Entitlement kendra (RLEK), a leading rights NGO in the city and IMS Unison University for a partnership in the field of legal research.

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