1 Dec 2009

Delhi High Court's move to paper-less court !!!

When the centuries old Indian Evidence Act of 1872 was amended in 2000 along with the incorporation of the Information Technology Act to recognise electronic/digital evidence, that was perhaps only the first step towards digitalization of the law in India. In the process to move with the times, the Delhi High Court's Computer Committee has pioneered the first pilot project in the country to evolve a paper-less court. Explaining the need for the same, the Committee in its official presentation submitted the need to shift to a more eco-friendly medium than paper is and chose e-courts as the natural concomitant of the vibrant shift owing to the technological involvement of our dairy lives. 

Explaining the advantage, the Committee presentation notes the following;
  • Would entail that from presentation of a plaint or petition till its disposal and archival, no paper is used.
  • Since all the documents would be in digital form, it would solve the problem of shortage of storage space.
  • Since it would be a paperless and automated court, it would reduce the burden on human resources.
  • Paperless courts would lead to increased efficiency and would save time.
  • Audio-visual evidence can easily be captured and presented in the Court.
The changes that would be required to be induced in the system inter alia include as under;
  • Digitalization of decided decisions.
  • Indexation of digitalized records (for easy retrival).
  • Authentication of digital records (and simultaneous weeding out of paper records)
  • Digitalization of current files and introduction of e-filing (which could be via (i) internet (ii) e-kiosks and (iii) other digital storage media.
  • Authentication through bio-metric devices etc.
  • On-line payment of court fees.
  • Preparing e-case file formats.
  • E-service of summons etc.
  • E-hearing
  • Archival (with back-up) of all electronic records.
  • Allowing oral-depositions to be recorded on video files.
With this aim, the Pilot project has been launched in the court of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat of the High Court whose court has already begun the paper-less work. One can only hope for the success of the project and the rapid dissemination of its success to the entire court and soon to the entire country wherein the archival procedures and mindless paper wastage can be avoided. 

No comments: