Posted by: editorlnav | April 14, 2010

E-Courts In India

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is not only a specialty of India but also can be used for India’s developmental issues and projects. One such area that requires an immediate attention pertains to use of ICT for an effective administration of justice in India. The establishment of effective E-Courts in India stems from this pressing need.

E-courts in India or e-judiciary in India is a much needed initiative. It has, however, always remained an unfulfilled dream. The reason being that there is a dearth of Techno-Legal expertise in India and e-courts cannot be established in India till we have that expertise. The starting point for the same is to have a homogenous and holistic composition of the techno-legal experts for E-Court Committee as well as those handing the project. The Indian government and judiciary do not understand that in the absence of good experts to manage the project, e-courts in India would remain a dream only

Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India opines that establishment of e-court would require tremendous domain specific techno-legal expertise and in the absence of the same e-courts project is bound to fail. There is also a lack of foresight on the part of those who are managing the e-courts project. Take the example of the facility of e-filing in the Supreme Court of India. The same is faulty on many counts. Firstly, the facility is available only to an “Advocate on Record” (AOR) or a “Party in Person”. Now almost 95% lawyers of India are “disqualified” to file a petition/case in the Supreme Courts unless they use the services of AOR. Secondly, it is available at Supreme Court only that should have been the last Court to have e-courts facility. The most pressing requirement of e-courts is at the ground level, i.e., lower courts that are still far from getting the same. Thirdly, merely computerisation or procurement without training the judicial officers is of no use. Even if we have the e-courts facilities at various courts there would be neither lawyers nor judicial officers to manage the same. We hope the new E-Court Committee would take serious and productive steps to implement E-Courts Project in India, says Praveen Dalal.

It seems the government and judiciary are stressing too much upon procurement and nothing upon management. Mere procurement of IT would do no good. The moment e-filing, presentation, contest and adjudication of the cases would start, India would surely be capable of establishing e-courts. In the absence of these capabilities, we have to wait for few more years to get speedier justice in India.

Fortunately, Perry4Law and PTLB have launched the first ever e-courts training and consultancy centre of India and perhaps first of its kind in the World. A “prototype” of the same is available to the public and stakeholders till the final website is out. Efforts in the direction of establishment of e-courts in India have been in process since 2003 and significant development in the sphere of computerisation has already been achieved. It is at this stage that there seems to be stagnation of e-court project of India and this initiative by Perry4Law would facilitate in the smooth and hassle free migration of e-court project to the next level.

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