Government seeks SC help to roll out paperless courts

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Ahead of making all courts in India into paperless and digital courts, the government has requested the e-Committee of the Supreme Court to ‘expedite’ the launch of a pilot project on digital courts in five High Courts of Bombay, Delhi, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Calcutta.

Moving to the digital platform would help courts to enable e-filing, issue of e-Summons through SMS/e-mails, e-hearings via video conferencing and e-judgments using digital signatures.

The government has also requested the e-committee of the SC to “coordinate with the high courts of Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka and Calcutta to make changes in CIS 3.2 software”. The CIS (Case Information System) is the latest software rolled out by the National Informatic Centre integrating all courts with the judicial data grid and facilitating electronic case management.

“The e-Committee has already formed a sub-committee which is in the process of formulating the SOP regarding the launch of the pilot project on paperless courts,” said a senior law ministry official. The government has also requested the e-Committee to “allow the implementation of automated and random allocation of cases in commercial courts” to facilitate ease of doing business.

The government is also simultaneously reaching out to the members of the Bar associations to roll out its most ambitious programme of paperless courts. Fortnightly review meetings have been scheduled with these lawyers’ bodies “to discuss the progress on the reforms to be implemented” in adopting the new technology and moving to the digital format.

The department of Justice in the law ministry has also asked the high courts of Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta to look into reason as to why very few pre-trial conferences are taking place in commercial cases. These pre-trial meets help put a deadline to completion of the disposal of the case.

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