In 2004, the Chief Justice of India proposed that an E-Committee must be established that will assist him in designing a policy on computerization of Indian Judiciary and suggest technological, communication and management related changes. The Kerala High Court also announced that two e-courts will be established in India. Recently, the PM approved the Second phase of e-courts Mission Project, which would allow the courts to deliver judicial services to the masses over the interest.
An e-court is a paperless court in which all court proceedings take place in a digital format. Electronic Courts are one of the primary enablers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system in India, which is accredited with bringing transparency and accountability in the Indian Judiciary and warrant speedy disposal of cases. E-Courts are a part of the transformation that the judiciary in India is going through in making legal services and justice more accessible to masses.
E-courts can not only bring transparency but also reduce the colossal backlog of cases in courts across the country, reduce corruption and save time and legal expenses. In criminal cases, technological advancements like video conferencing and e-courts fortify witness protection. E-filing gives a person the option to file their case in any part of the country in few clicks.
The primary benefit of e-courts is that the entire database of information related to a case can be accessed online by the parties, lawyers, and the general public. This makes legal research much more simple that perusing through multiple volumes of legal documents. The legal data stored in the e-court’s directory cannot be misplaced or modified without proper access. Data keeping and maintenance for bail orders, warrants, small changes, etc. becomes much easier.
E-courts can make the filing of case-related documents undemanding as a lawyer can submit the essential documents from anywhere. A docket sheet can be created or updated within seconds to upload any document. E-courts help in computerizing how work is managed in courts. This helps in creating a better case management system with everything in a single place.
The objective of establishing e-courts in India is to make the entire legal procedure accessible to the general public. With e-case filing and video conferencing, people who are unable to physically travel to a court to present their case to a court, can digitally file their case or submit their statement. The entire system can make delivery of justice more transparent, increase accountability and limit the human conversation to a minimum.
E-courts are just the initial stage of change in the Indian Judiciary, with more e-courts setting up across Indian soon. Courts at the subordinate level will also be digitized in near future, marking another step towards development in Indian judicial system.
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