25. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

25.1 Technological Developments in the field of information and introduction of computers have made a turning point in the history of human civilization. It has brought about a sea change in all fields of human activity. It has resulted in enhanced efficiency, productivity and quality of output in every walks of life.

25.2 The information technology has been advocated in the western countries for the last two or three decades, but hardly any worthwhile effort has been made till recently, particularly, in judicial administration of subordinate courts in our country.

25.3 The Commission considers that there is an immediate need for exposing our legal profession, judicial fraternity and court management to the update computerised technology so as to render speedy justice with better legal outputs.

25.4 The Commission formulated the following question in its questionnaire to elicit views and suggestions for application of Information Technology in Court System :

Q.No.56 : The introduction of Computers has brought about sea-change in the work and efficiency in various activities. Are the courts in your State/UT equipped with Computers for Court Management and Case Management ?

25.5 The High Courts of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Bombay, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Calcutta have informed that the process of introduction of computers is on in some of the District Judges' Courts.

25.6 The High Courts of Orissa, Rajasthan, Punjab and Sikkim appear to have not yet taken steps towards introduction of computers in the lower Courts.

25.7 The Commission engaged the services of Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore, as Consultant, for suggesting improvement in the Court Management.

25.8 It may be stated that IIM, Bangalore, is a Consultant for computerisation for many Governmental Departments and for Public and Private Sector Enterprises. IIM, Bangalore, is perhaps the best Consultant in the country for Information Technology.

25.9 The IIM, Bangalore, after studying the utility of computerisation of Courts in the countries abroad and also surveying the Court work and Court management in several centres in our country, has among others, recommended that for the purpose of improvements in operational efficiency, co-ordination, accessibility and speed in the judicial administration, the introduction of Information Technology (IT) is absolutely essential.

25.10 IIM, Bangalore has prepared a comprehensive Report in which the following portion pertains to I.T. in Court work :

"1. Introduction :

Extensive use of Information Technology by diverse organizations the world over has resulted in enhanced efficiency, effectiveness and optimal use of resources. Computers as well as electronic communication devices such as facsimile machines, electronic mail, video conferencing, provide the ability to process large volumes of data with speed and accuracy, exchange of useful information between different locations and support higher quality of decision making. These capabilities have contributed to more efficient and responsive systems not only in business organizations, but also in legal, governmental and other public systems.

While the Information Revolution arrived in India some years ago, automation has not transformed all facets of life in equal measure. It has not permeated to the Subordinate judiciary in particular, resulting in old work methods based on manual systems being continued even now. The enormous problems being faced by the judiciary due to arrears, backlog and delays can be partly resolved by the introduction of automation in subordinate courts.

2. Work Done So Far :

The 121st Report of the Law Commission of India (July 1987) has devoted a whole chapter to "Technological Advances and its use in the context of Judicial appointments". A beginning has been made by National Informatics Centre (NIC) in computerisation of Court records. The administrative system in the Supreme Court has been computerised. A query system allows litigants anywhere in the country to enquire and obtain information on the status of a case filed in the Supreme Court through NICNET. The Supreme Court is also introducing a Classification System as well as a system to track progress of cases and a Case Flow System. Gujarat High Court has also introduced a comprehensive case management system. Such systems are also being initiated at other high courts. Work has also commenced at some subordinate courts like the City Civil Court in Bangalore.

3. Need for Significant Thrust :

The problems faced by courts, judiciary and public seeking justice in terms of backlogs, delays and expense are well known. While there are many dimensions to these problems, improvements in operational efficiency, coordination, accessibility and speed which IT could bring about can contribute significantly towards improvement and alleviation of difficulties. However the present pace of development, particularly at the subordinate court level is too slow and is unlikely to have the desired impact in the near future. Massive problems need appropriately large commitments and major initiatives if a significant dent is to be made.

Recently, there has been a tremendous interest in major initiatives in IT at the national level. A task force set up by the Prime Minister has drawn up 108 recommendations with the objective of developing India into an "IT Superpower". In our view, applications having a major impact on fundamental systems which contribute to shaping our society, like the legal system, should be a significant part of any such undertaking. A quick calculation will show that a project for provision of computers at every court in India accompanied by development of appropriate software than some of the other proposals currently being made. We feel therefore that it is necessary that a strong plea to the Centre for a comprehensive plan for IT usage in courts is needed.

Further, computer usage has made sufficient inroads into private as well as public organizations in India. There are several visibly successful applications, be it in railway reservations or department stores or educational institutions. Also India software developers have been recognised internationally for their talent in developing software for diverse applications. It is time that these talents and experience be put to use in developing effective systems for the important and public-sensitive domain of legal systems.

 

4. Areas where IT will be useful :

Most of the bottlenecks identified by Judicial Commissions and Committees referring to delays, arrears and backlog be partly overcome if a sound judicial management information system is introduced in India. Case Management, File Management and Docket Management will be vastly improved by resorting to the use of computers. In particular, the following are areas where use of computer will result in enhanced productivity and reduction of delays.

a) Legal Information Data Bases

b) On line query system for precedents, citations, codes, statutes etc.

c) Generation of Cause List and on line statistical reports

d) On line Caveat matching

e) On line updation of data, monitoring and "flagging" of events

f) Pooling of orders and judgements

g) Daily List generation with historical data of each case

h) Word processing with standard templates including generation of notices/processes

i) Access to international data bases

j) Feed back reports for use of various levels.

The above are some of the areas where information technology can be introduced after due preparation. In particular, tracking of cases would result in better monitoring and control of cases by the Presiding Officers, rather than by the lawyers.

 

 

Computerisation should be supplemented by the use of Fax, E Mail, Video conferencing and other facilities for higher productivity and quicker decision making at all levels.

5. International Practices :

Courts in USA have been extensively using Information Technology for several years now. In UK, software development for computers at the subordinate court level has been developed extensively. For example, the Local County Court Management System (LOCCS) in use in England has a data base system which is part of a package called CASEMAN and supports the following judicial applications :

a) Creates initial court records for registering a case

b) Issues summons and monitors the service of the summons

c) Stores electronic copies of evidence

d) Generates Cause List

e) Updates records

f) Maintains Court Dairy

g) Automatically generates other relevant documents and records

The Lord Woolf Commission in U.K. has considered the case for use of Information Technology in the judiciary and has effectively articulated many aspects of IT usage in its report "Access to Justice" (July 1996).

In Australia "Cyber Courts" use technology in the legal arena extensively at all stages and have demonstrated considerable reduction in delays as a result.

In Singapore the courts manage their time and resources optimally to achieve an active, efficient and effective case management process. The use of technology in Singapore courts goes beyond the use of computers. Occasions for transporting of accused and witnesses in criminal cases within the country and from outside are greatly reduced by the use of video cameras in jails and court premises. The Lawnet Service Bureau is networking with law firms, judiciary and data bases. Video conferencing is a common feature both within the judiciary and outside. A key board is provided in each court to the lawyers to make their written submissions on a real time basis. Their Differentiated Case Management (DCM) System assigns different management tracks to different cases in subordinate courts in accordance with the nature and complexity of each case. The public who visit the courts have also access to a touch screen by which they know the status of various cases. This practice promotes transparency and improves accountability.

The experience of IT usage in these countries, particularly U.K. could provide very useful pointers and even specific tools and software in developing systems suitable for India.

6. Preparatory Steps :

The success of Computerisation of court work depends to a very large extent on the degree of preparations made. Therefore, any hasty, half-hearted step should be avoided as they will prove to be counter-productive.

Information Technology is also more than introducing computers. It should also reckon with improving communications. Facsimile machines, electronic mail and other means of swift and reliable communications should be introduced to synchronise with computerisation.

Before undertaking the major task of introducing widespread IT usage, following questions need to be considered :

a) What is the IT strategy for the judiciary ? How do you integrate technology with the objectives ?

b) What is a cost-effectuve Management Information System for the judiciary? What tools can be optimally used for the coordination of information ?

c) What should be learning process for the judiciary as well as the administrative staff ? How does one impart hands-on training to persons who may have hardened views on the subject ?

After a firm strategy is in place, the next step would be to prepare (a) the judicial organisation and (b) the human resources in the judiciary, to commit themselves to the concept. An extensive familiarisation programme should be launched, aimed at gaining the acceptability of all users. To begin with, all Presiding Officers should be contacted and the subject discussed with them in groups. A class room set up at this stage for Presiding Officers is not desirable. There should be no talk of hardware and software during this phase.

The judicial organisation should be prepared simultaneously for the introduction of computers. Source Documents should be obtained and gone through for source coding, data entry and connected technical operations. This should be done by a team of computer professionals. The period during which the manual work would run simultaneously with computerisation after introduction of computers should be determined and the phasing out should be free of all hassles.

There will be three stages of computerisation as follows :

a) Planning Stage

b) Development Stage

c) Operational Stage

Training will be an on-going activity during all the three stages. There will be a separate Training Plan. Training needs will be analysed soon after the IT strategy is finalised. The training plan will incorporate designing and delivering training programmes with a view to achieving the objectives of the learning process as a whole.

At the Planning Stage all the applications of Information Technology in the judicial context will be analysed. The existing data based run by private agencies would be examined for their reliability and validity. International practices would also be analysed. A detailed plan would be arrived at on the various applications of IT in the Indian context and developing them for the Indian judiciary as an extension of the work being done in the Supreme Court, High Courts and Bangalore City Civil Court. There should be compatibility of data among the various systems.

At the Development Stage, selection of equipment (hardware) and developing suitable software which will supplement the existing systems would be decided. The expert team would coordinate their efforts closely with those who are preparing and coding the data. Staffing requirements would also be decided at the development stage. Training plans, skills acquisition and definition of roles would be documented and calibrated.

At the Operational Stage, the implementation process begins. The plans so far executed are tested and validated. Intensive coordination is required at this stage.

Care taken at the preceding stages and imaginative training to ensure that retentive learning takes place would underwrite the success of the project as a whole."

25.11 The aforesaid portion of the Report was the subject matter of discussion in the National Consultative Activity convened by the Commission on 12 and 13 December 1998 in co-ordination with IIM, Bangalore. The National Consultative Activity was inaugurated by Hon'ble Mr. Justice B.N. Kirpal, Judge of the Supreme Court of India and presided over by the Chairman of the Commission, with Mr. Justice R.P. Sethi, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court and Director of IIM as the Chief Guests.

25.12 Almost all the High Courts represented by their nominee Judges, the Directors of the Judicial Training Institutes of the States concerned, Director of National Police Academy, Legal Luminaries, Professors of Law and Management and Representatives of the Judicial Officers' Associations participated in the said Consultative Activity. The brief proceedings of the National Consultative Activity is enclosed as Annexure-I.

25.13 Pursuant to the decision taken in the said discussion, the Chairman of the Commission wrote to the Prime Minister of India as well as to the Chief Justice of India for taking appropriate action for introduction of IT in the Judiciary.

 

 

 

25.14 The Commission has received reply from Sri N. Seshagiri, Special Secretary & Director General, National Informatics Centre, Govt. of India, Planning Commission, New Delhi, stating thus :

"Subject: Inclusion of Subordinate Judiciary in the Information Technology Action Plan.

- - - - -

Under the District Courts Computerisation and Networking Programme, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has already covered implementation of IT in all the 430 District Courts in the country. NIC has received satisfactory support from the District Courts. Under this project considering the availability of funds we could cover up to judges only. Kindly find the enclosed brochure for further details.

The IT Task Force - 'Working Group on Citizen Interface' has already considered 'IT for Judiciary' in its draft report. Further, the resolution passed by the 'First National Judicial Pay Commission' has been forwarded to the Working Group for necessary action."

25.15 The reply received is enclosed as Annexure-II.

25.16 We have also received from the Government of India, 'The Computerisation and Networking Programme for District Courts' as planned by the Planning Commission. This is also enclosed as Annexure-III.

25.17 After taking into consideration of the discussion and the views expressed in the National Consultative Activity, IIM, Bangalore has submitted the Report with its recommendations summarised in the following terms :

 

 

 

A. Development of Software Package for functional effectiveness

i. It is recommended that a uniform software package with comprehensive functionality involving complete aspects of information storage and processing at District Courts may be developed. These should cover the following essential stages :

a) Filing of Cases

b) Daily List generation

c) Process Service and monitoring of cases in each court

d) Performance improvement and monitoring systems, and

e) Feedback and reports generation.

ii. Packages available and being used in subordinate courts abroad may be studied for guidance in this regard. The recommendations in Lord Woolf's Report deserve close study. The Task Force should study International practices and their applicability in the Indian context.

iii. National Informatics Centre (NIC) has been developing computer networks for the central and state governments. A comprehensive plan for installation of hardware and software after carefully evaluating the requirements should be drawn up. If NIC is unable to devote resources to develop such a package in short time frame, this could be offered to software firms in India on a competitive tender basis.

 

B. Computer usage to assist Judicial functioning

i. Apart from supporting effective operation of primary activities, computers may assist judges in the court room and for generation of orders through

a) Word processing with provision of standard templates,

b) Online availability of case files including pleadings, affidavits, orders and documents and full case histories,

c) Case Tracking and Monitoring,

d) Access to databases of relevant law and relevant legal precedents, and

e) Vital feedback information for corrective action at all levels of the judiciary.

Some of the above applications do not need special software development. They may use standard software packages available for these purposes. However proper evaluation, effective installation and training would have to be undertaken.

ii. The "Check Slip" should be the beginning point for simplification to help data processing.

C. Legal Assistance Kiosks

Legal information Kiosks may be installed at court premises to provide assistance to public. Such Kiosks may provide guidance on basic procedures, information on availability of ADR schemes and legal assistance. These should be networked with suitable security provisions to the computers being used for operational systems so that read - only facility of querying on the status of pending cases can be provided. At later stages they may provide data entry facilities for computer based submissions. Such services will greatly facilitate public interaction with legal systems and also demonstrate the concern of the courts for the public at large.

D. Comprehensive Plan for Implementation

i. An extensive program of computerization across the entire country should be undertaken by a Task Force after development of a comprehensive plan for installation of hardware and software and their effective usage. An Action Plan should be drawn up. The Government of India's Action Plan for IT announced in 1998 and the Prime Minister's Task Force set up for this purpose should include Judiciary as one of the areas requiring the urgent attention of the government for introduction of IT.

ii. Such a Plan must not be limited to installation of hardware and software. An analysis of process performance for possibilities of re-engineering must be undertaken as part of the task.

iii. Changes in organisational practises and regulations, reassignments of roles and responsibilities, work methods and performance criteria will have to be undertaken as part of the task.

 

iv. Changes in organisational practises, training of Judicial and other personnel in the use of computer-based systems and new work methods in dealing with new systems arising from re-engineered work are urgent, essential reforms.

WORK DONE BY THE NIC :

25.18 From the Brochure received from the Government of India, Planning Commission, National Informatics Centre, New Delhi, it will be seen that there appears to be one uniform method evolved by NIC for 'District Courts Computerisation and Networking Programme'.

25.19 It is said that NIC has received a report from 430 District Courts in the country that the implementation of IT is satisfactory in such Courts.

25.20 We have personally verified the steps taken regarding the implementation of IT in some of the District Courts in Karnataka Stage. We find that in almost all such Districts, what has been done is only the installation of hardware without any programme for training the concerned Judicial Officers or the Court Staff. In fact, in many District Courts, we find that the room in which the computers are located is locked. Perhaps, without knowing how to operate.

25.21 From the feedback information that we have received and also from the discussion in the National Consultative Activity, which we have referred to earlier, it is seen that there is hardly any progress in the implementation of IT in District Courts or in the Courts subordinate thereto, save in Gujarat and Maharashtra States.

25.22 In this context, reference may be made to the experience gained by the Gujarat State Judicial Academy of which Mr. Justice R.A. Mehta (Rtd.) is the Director. He has highlighted the following activities which could be computerised for the subordinate Judiciary :

1. Internet and Online access to users and Lawyers.

2. Bulletin Board Service (BBS), File Transfer (FTP).

3. CD Servers for legal data-bases JUDIS, India Code, Gujarat Case Law, Gujarat Code, JURIX, Lexis, Nexis.

4. Application Servers.

5. Data Servers.

6. Internet Server (ISP).

7. HC Web site, Web page.

8. VSAT & District Court & other HC, SC connectivity, Online access.

9. Comprehensive Case Information System CCIS, Judgments, Orders, Notices, MIS & Statistical Reports.

10. About 50 Forms and merging of data from CCIS.

11. Admn.Departments A,B,C,D, B Spl. Depts.

12. Files-Classification, file names and files, directories.

13. File movements - Bar Code readers.

14. Agenda of meetings of Committees, Standing Committee and Full Court.

15. Minutes of Decisions of meetings.

16. Pay Roll, Pay slips.

17. Personal Information.

18. Judicial Officers-Personal Information.

19. Confidential reports and Adverse remarks.

20. Assessment of Disposals.

21. Complaints and Inquiries.

22. Lower Court Returns and Statistics, online reports and compilation.

23. Seniority Lists of Judicial Officers, Staff.

24. Transfers of Judicial Officers.

25. Accounts, Cheques.

26. Inventory.

27. Fixed Deposits.

28. Library - Catalogue, issue and movement of books.

29. Telephone and Address Directory.

30. Mailing Lists.

31. Legal Aid and Services.

32. Vigilance.

33. Law Officer Branch.

34. Rules Recruitment Rules, HC Rules, Judicial Service Rules.

35. HC Judges Act-Rules.

36. Notifications, Circulars by HC.

37. Pension and Retirement Benefits and automatic calculations.

38. Leave Accounts - automatic calculations.

39. Personal files of Judges and individuals and security.

40. Linkage of judicial and non judicial files.

41. Organisation Charts.

42. Work flow charts.

43. Flow Charts of activities.

44. Flow Charts of case.

45. Flow Charts of Acts and Rules.

46. Decree Dept. documents/forms.

47. Record Room, Criminal, Civil and OJ.

48. Scrutiny of each department, each Judge and Officer's works and data.

25.23 OUR RECOMMENDATIONS :

i. The Commission recommends that each High Court should immediately constitute a Task Force consisting of Senior Judges of the High Court and a computer expert for preparing a comprehensive action plan for implementation of IT in District Court and Courts subordinate thereto.

ii. Such a Plan should not be limited to installation of hardware and software. An analysis of process performance for possibilities of re-engineering must also be undertaken as part of the task.

iii. Changes in organisational practices and regulations, reassignments of rules and responsibilities, work methods and performance criteria will have to be periodically undertaken by the Task Force.

iv. The training of Judicial and other personnel in the use of computer-based systems and new work methods in dealing with new systems arising from re-engineered work must also be undertaken simultaneously.

 

v. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) perhaps due to inadequate / insufficient resources - manpower and financial - has not been able to develop a needed package for all the District Courts in India in a short time-frame.

Each High Court must immediately inform the Government of India to entrust to private software firms on a competitive tender basis for computerisation and networking programme of District Courts and Courts subordinate thereto.

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANNEXURE - I

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE ACTIVITY ON JUDICIAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING; AND I.T. FOR JUDICIARY HELD ON 12th AND 13th DECEMBER 1998

First National Judicial Pay Commission (Commission) in association with the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore convened a National Consultative Activity on 12th and 13th December 1998 at Indian Institute of Management Auditorium, Bangalore to consider and approve the two Draft Reports prepared by the Commission. The two reports pertain to:

i) Judicial Education and Training, and

ii) Information Technology for Judiciary

The Activity was inaugurated by Hon’ble Sri Justice B.N. Kirpal, Judge of the Supreme Court of India and presided over by Justice K. Jagannatha Shetty (Rtd.), the Chairman of the Commission, Justice R.P. Sethi, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court was the Chief Guest.

The Senior Judges of most of the High Courts, the Director of IIM, Bangalore, the Directors of the Judicial Training Institutes of every State, Director of National Police Academy, Legal Luminaries, Professors of Law and Management and Representatives of the Judicial Officers’ Associations attended the Meetings.

In the Technical Sessions in which methodology of introduction of IT in Subordinate Courts was examined, it was found that there is no way out to speed up the course of justice save by computerisation of Subordinate Courts all over the country.

The recommendations of the ‘TASK FORCE’ constituted by the Prime Minister for "Information Technology Action Plan" for all Governmental and non-Governmental levels were perused and found that Judiciary has not been included therein.

WHEREFORE, it is unanimously resolved :

1. "That the Information Technology Action Plan" must include computerisation of the Subordinate Judiciary all over the country. And

2. the Chairman of FNJPC is authorised to take necessary steps by moving the Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India to take up the matter with Government of India.

Accordingly, the Chairman has written to the Prime Minister of India as well as the Chief Justice of the Apex Court for appropriate action in this respect.

* * * * *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANNEXURE - II

No. 55/DGCNIC/99-43

Government of India

Planning Commission

National Informatics centre

New Delhi – 110 003

Dt. : February 4, 1999

Subject : Inclusion of Subordinate judiciary in the Information Technology Action Plan.

Under the District Courts Computerisation and networking Programme, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has already covered implementation of IT in all the 430 District Courts in the country. NIC has received satisfactory support from the District Courts. Under this project considering the availability of funds we could cover up to the level of District Judges and equivalent rank Judges only. Kindly find the enclosed brochure for further details.

The IT Task Force- ‘Working Group on Citizen Interface’ has already considered ‘IT for Judiciary’ in its draft report. Further, the resolution passed by the ‘First National Judicial Pay Commission’ has been forwarded to the Working Group for necessary action.

Sd/-

(N. Seshagiri)

Special Secretary & Director General

Copy forwarded to :

(i) Hon’ble Justice K. Jagannatha Shetty (Rtd.), Chairman, First National Judicial Pay Commission, Bangalore, No. FNJPC/CON/12/98, dated 16 Dec ’98.

(ii) Member Secretary, Planning Commission, No. –nil- dated 28, Jan ’99.

(iii) Addl. Secretary, Deptt. of Justice, PMO U.O. No. 360/31/C/10/98-ES.II. dated 1, Jan ’99.

(iv) K. Srinivasan, Prl. Adviser (C&I), Planning Commission, I.D. No. p-12040/5/98-C&I dated 2-2-1999.

(v) P.K. Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Law & Justice, No. 15014/2/99-JUS (M) dated 28, Jan ’99.

F F F F F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANNEXURE - III

24. District Courts Computerization and

Networking Programme

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

High Court of Allahabad High Court of Andhra Pradesh High Court of Bombay Calcutta High Court

High Court of Delhi Gauhati High Court

High Court of Himachal Pradesh High Court of Jammu & Kashmir

High Court of Karnataka High Court of Kerala

Madras High Court High Court of Madhya Pradesh

High Court of Punjab & Haryana High Court of Orissa

High Court of Patna Rajasthan High Court

High Court of Sikkim

AND

NATIONAL INFORMATICS CENTRE

INTRODUCTION :

The National Informatics Centre has been giving information Technology support to the Indian Judiciary for over six years. The successful implementation of an information system assisting the registry of the Supreme Court of India in decision making, marked NIC’s first step towards computerisation of Courts. This was closely followed by the computerisation of all High Courts in 1992. Today all High Courts have been computerised and interconnected through NII’s satellite based computer communication network (NICNET); most of them are taking out computer generated Daily Cause Lists. COURTNIC and NICNET have enabled the ready availability of information on pending cases in the Supreme Court at any of the over thousand VSAT nodes of NICNET spread across the country. The JUDIS, the Judgment Information System, archeives all reported cases of Supreme Court right from 1950 onwards and makes it available on NICNET. The complete JUDIS database is now encapsuled in a CD-ROM for ready retrieval. As a logical next step in NIC’s effort is the District Court Computerisation and networking project which helps streamlining the Judicial administration in the lower courts.

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES

The main goal of the District Courts Computerisation and Networking Programme is introducing Information Technology Tools in all areas which are routine and time critical in nature, streamlining the District Judicial Administration and bring about transparency of information to the litigants. The following are the objectives of the project :-

Objectives – 1

o Streamlining judicial administration by computer assisted ‘monitoring of case filing’ by the litigants / advocates.

o Keeping track of movement of case files in the Court.

o Providing Computer-based querying facilities to litigants / advocates

Objectives – 2

o Interconnection of all District Courts, the 18 High Courts and the Supreme Court. Providing e-mail facility among all courts and facilitating the day-to-day interaction with the High Court through NICNET.

 

Objectives – 3

o Giving access to local, National and International legal databases for the District Judges over NICNET and INTERNET.

 

APPLICATION AREAS

Based on the experience gained by NIC from computerization and networking of the Supreme Court and all the 18 High Courts in the country, the following areas were identified for computerisation in all the 430 District Courts.

1. Case File Monitoring

2. Certified Copies

3. Report Generation

4. Library and Database Resource Sharing

5. E-Mail Facility

6. Personnel Information System

7. Pay Roll and Accounts Processing

CASE FILE MONITORING SYSTEM

The computerisation of District Courts envisages a centralised Filing Counter for streamlining the entire activity of filing process. As soon as a case is filed at the filing counter, the computer decides the posting of the case to a judge based on the existing procedure. It will automatically register the case in the District Court and produce a receipt to the litigant / advocate. At the end of each day the computer will generate a list of cases filed on that day in a format similar to the one maintained in a Register, as is the practice. For avoiding the litigants dealing with a multitude of sections for finding out their case status, a query counter is being opened at the Filing Counter. The preliminary details entered in the computer system will be made available immediately at the computer terminal provided in each court room. The judge can have a list of cases posted by the computer on that date in his court.

The terminal provided in each court room along with a printer will substitute the type-writer. When a case is heard by the judge, the order issued by him will be entered straightway into the computer terminal by the clerk concerned. As the computer system will be storing the orders of the court, any further modification suggested by the judge can easily be carried out in the system within a short time. A copy of the order can also be taken from the printer attached to the computer terminal. The staff of the court will update the database by feeding the operative part of the judgment on the computer system. It will ensure that the matter will come on the board on the date given by the Judge. If a notice is required to be served, the computer system will automatically generate the same and also immediately make it available at the query counter terminal.

CERTIFIED COPIES

As all terminals are connected to the main system in LAN any order/judgment that is typed from any court room, will be automatically available on the LAN. The query terminals at the Filing Counter can be used for generation of print-outs of the orders/judgments as certified copies to the litigants. These computer printed orders of courts are to be signed by an officer before they are issued to parties. In this process there would not be any delay in getting certified copies. This will certainly help in generating the certified copies without delay.

All routine notices, orders etc., can be produced from the computer terminal as the computer system has the formats of various notices and addresses of the parties, it can automatically generate various types of notices.

FAST REPORT GENERATION

The following reports can be generated by the Software

o List of cases filed on a particular date

o List of cases heard/disposed of by a judge on a particular day

o Statistical reports required by the District Court authorities.

BENEFITS

District Court Computerisation and Networking Programme will benefit the management, the judges, the advocates and the litigants alike :

o Monitoring of case flow will be easy

o Litigants, Advocates get case related information at one place

o Posting of cases to various courts will be transparent

o Litigants can get certified copies instantaneously

o Accurate statistical information can be generated

o Cause Lists for each court can be generated automatically

o Caveat Matching will take place at the filing stage itself

o All required notices can be generated automatically

o Preparation of orders/judgments becomes simpler

o Introduction of IT Tools will bring an innovative approach and a better work culture in the District Court.

o National and International legal databases will be readily available to judges, advocates and litigants.

o E-Mail and Internet facilities will be available to every district court.

For further information contact :

Courts Informatics Division

National Informatics Center

A-Block, CGO Complex

Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110 003.

Grams : NICNET HQ

Ph:4364292 Fax :91-11-4362489, 4362628

e-mail :clmr@caselaw.delhi.nic.in