An Idea Triggers an Idea - E-Judiciary in India

 | March 26,2012 12:05 pm IST

An Idea can change your life. Here we are talking of recent television commercial of Idea Cellular, where a man gets beaten up by rogues, another man has its video captured as evidence but he fears what his fate might be on account of raising his voice.

Then comes AB junior giving the idea of posting the video over various social media & networks and finally justice is granted. Our archaic judiciary system taking an electronic media as evidence and social networks becoming instrumental in fair treatment, gives glimpses of what could be called Utopia.

We, the nation boasting of having seen reigns of Ram, the Ramrajya, a fair and just system, are now suffering a judicial crisis, ranked 95 among 187 nations in Transparency Internationals corruption perception index . There are 15000 courts in the nation and millions of cases pending. In some cases, the subject is no more physically available in the world to attend the judicial procedures by the time his/her turn comes. Various analytics firms do research work over facts and figures and give statements like so and so High Court would take 100 or 150 years clearing the backlog with the current work force and average time taken per case. It is an issue more sensitive than Kashmir issue.
So where does the answer lie, what can be a plausible solution, is it e-judiciary?

E- Judiciary is not a new term in Indian policy makers vocabulary. Even projects have been undergoing in this direction dating back to 1990s. There was computerization of judicial activities of The Supreme court in 1990, then in 1992-95 High courts were taken. 1997-99 it was the turn of District courts, then 2002-05 Metro and capital city courts got their chance. But this computerization meant providing 1 PC to each district court , PC/laptops to judges or officials. In 2007, our visionary ex-President Dr Kalam kicked off e-judiciary project worth more than 400 Crores and completion was due in 2009.


However, due to inefficiency in government machinery the project is yet to complete, there is not a single e-court in the country but the idea is good. There would be daily orders available over web, cause lists, digitally certified court orders- serving as original order, all acts of Parliament till date to refer to and most important thing e-filing of the cases by advocates. Phase II of the project dreams of Video conferencing. So like Hindi cinema, an evidence would not be killed in road accident just before he/she was to give his statement in court.

But there still remain some loopholes; the less privileged rural India would have to wait for some more time to be taken along. The security breach could pose another threat and competency of personnel dealing with sophisticated e-systems would matter much for efficiency of the system. However, a step taken is much more appreciable than none at all.