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Digitalization of Supreme Court and High Court Records- (Press Information Bureau) (10 Aug 2023)

MANU/PIBU/2725/2023

Civil

Digitization of court records is an administrative matter falling under the domain of the respective High Courts and the Supreme Court of India and the Government has no direct role in it. The e-Courts Mission Mode Project is a national e-Governance project for ICT enablement of district/subordinate courts of the country with a view to facilitate faster disposal of cases by speeding up court processes and providing transparent on-line flow of information on case status, orders/judgments etc. to the judiciary as well as litigants, lawyers and other stakeholders. The e-Courts Phase I (2011-15) was aimed at basic computerization of courts and providing local network connectivity. Phase II (2015-23) of the project focused on citizen-centric e-services besides computerising 18735 courts and interconnecting these with wide area network (WAN).The digitization of records was not the part of e-Courts Project Phase II. However, a sub-committee was constituted by e-Committee, Supreme Court of India for preparing a Digital Preservation Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for scanning, storage, retrieval, digitization of court records and preservation of legacy data of the judiciary. The SOP was approved in its full body meeting by e-Committee, Supreme Court of India under the chairmanship of Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud on 21st October 2022.

To facilitate the online availability of digitalized records, Department of Justice in close co-ordination with e-Committee, Supreme Courts of India has undertaken following initiatives as part of e-Courts Project Phase II:

• 18735 District and Subordinate Courts computerized under e-Courts phase-II so far.

• Case Information Software (CIS) which forms the basis for the e-Courts developed by NIC on Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS).

• Citizen centric services provided through 7 platforms viz. SMS push & pull, e-mail, e-Courts services portal, Judicial service Centers, Info kiosks, e-Courts mobile app (total 1.88 crore downloads till 30th June 2023) and JustIS app for judges (19,164 downloads till 30th June 2023).

• e-Filing system version 3.0 rolled out with advanced features like e-Vakalatnama, e-signing, video recording of oath etc. Integrated with e payments module.

• Judgment Search Portal has been started for providing copies of judgments free of cost.

• NJDG developed with elastic search technology allowing access to 23.58 crore cases and more than 22.56 crore orders and judgments. Delay reasons added and open APIs introduced as on 01.08.2023.

The National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), is an online repository of case statistics, as a result of digitalized case records, from the High Courts and the District and Subordinate Courts of the country. It provides information relating to judicial proceedings/decisions of the computerized courts of the country. Approximately 3000 Court Complexes replicate live data of filing, registration, scrutiny, objections, case status, cause list, judgment and orders on real-time basis. Case data is available on NJDG for both civil and criminal cases with the ability to perform drill-down analysis based on the age of the case as well as the State and District. As per the information available on Supreme Court website, Judgement records can be searched online with the following parameters - Case No., Diary No., Judgment Date, Judge Name, Parties, Act-wise, Constitutional Bench and Free Text.

NJDG works as a monitoring tool to identify, manage & reduce pendency of cases. It helps to provide timely inputs for making policy decisions to reduce delays in disposing of cases and helps in reducing case pendency. In consonance with the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) announced by the Government of India, Open Application Programming Interface (API) has been provided to the Central & State Government to allow easy access to the NJDG data using a departmental ID and access key. Recently, reasons for delay have been included in NJDG.

Tags : DIGITALIZATION   RECORDS   E-GOVERNANCE  

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