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[Information] e-Governance in Indian CourtsViews: 1682
Jul 29, 2007 4:49 am[Information] e-Governance in Indian Courts#

Vijay Nair
eGovernance in Indian Courts

The Courts Informatics Division, National Informatics Centre (NIC) of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India is providing network backbone and e-Governance support to Central Government, State Governments, UT Administrations, Districts and other Government bodies. NIC has been closely associated with the Indian Judiciary for the past eleven years. NIC’s role in serving the legal community through Information Technology (IT) began as early as 1990 when the COURTIS (Court Information System) Project was conceptualized and commissioned for streamlining registries of various courts. COURTNIC was formally inaugurated by the then Hon’ble Chief Justice of India Mr Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah on September 25, 1993 at Bangalore. Since then, NIC, with the constant support of the Supreme Court of India has taken great strides. Today all High Courts have been computerised and interconnected though NIC’s satellite-based computer-communication network NICNET.

Supreme Court of India

Following are some of the most important applications implemented by NIC in the Supreme Court of India, which helped the Registry in streamlining its routine activities.

Judicial Wing

Filing Counter Computerization

Fresh cases are now filed only before the computerized Filing Counters. As the advocates stand in queue for Filing cases before the counters, the data entry Operator enters preliminary details of the case such as Party names, advocate details, etc., required for Registration. Filing receipts are generated; Court fee and Time Limitation are calculated automatically; Automatic registration takes place; Filing information is immediately available on Internet.

List of Business Information System (LOBIS):

This system contains pending and disposed cases since 1990. The size of the database is about 500,000 records. It is a near time-critical application as the Cause Lists are to be generated by the computer system by the court’s closing hours every day. This application also uses bunching/grouping technique, which enabled the registry in bringing down the pendency in the Court.

Court’s Order/Proceedings Computerization

This is about computerization of day-to-day orders delivered in the Court. The software enables the Court Masters in speeding up the process of typing orders/judgements by providing the preamble, which includes the Item No. of the Case in the Cause List, Names of Parties, Advocate Names, High Court/Lower Court details, Names of Judges before whom cases are listed, date of order, etc. on the screen.

COURTNIC

COURTNIC is an information system designed to provide the information on the status of cases in the Court to a wide variety of users, from anywhere in the country.

Record Room Computerisation

This system keeps track of Files and Printed Records Consignment, Weeding of files, Printed Records and their maintenance, Movement of files, Tracing of files.

Judicial Sections

All Judicial Sections are provided with computer systems for: Updating the case databases pertaining to their sections; Minimizing movement of files; Generation of notices; Generation of Dismissal letters; Registration of cases; Disposal of cases; Finding status of cases; etc.

Library Information System

i. SUPLIS -Case Indexing

It contains citation information of all reported cases decided by the Supreme Court from 1950 onwards.

ii. Current content

It keeps track of all legal & judicial articles published in journals subscribed by the Library of Supreme Court.

iii. Cataloguing

It maintains details of all books available in the Judges’ Library of Supreme Court and supports ‘Issue and Return’

Various important Information Systems including the following have also been designed for effective Administration in the Supreme Court : Pay Roll; Inventory Control System; Personal Information System; Monitoring of Recovery of loans, Monitoring of Bank Guarantor’s Cases, Monitoring of Payment to Petitioner/Respondent for Court ordered cases etc.

Web-site of Supreme Court of India (http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/)
provides useful information, to all concerned about the Apex Court and its functionality.



High Courts Computerization

NIC took up computerization of all 18 High Courts and 10 Benches on the lines of Apex Court’s Computerization. NIC has also implemented the List of Business Information (LOBIS) in all High Court Courts. All High Courts’ Cause List are also available on Internet. Most of the High Courts have opened query counters along with Filing Counters for providing Case-status information to the litigants and advocates.
• Facilities.
• All High Courts are provided with computer Hardware with back-up facility
• All Court rooms are equipped with terminals and printers and are connected on LAN
• Some High Courts Judgments and Orders are available on Internet
• Most High Courts have their Web sites
• Causelists are generated automatically
• Posting of cases to various courts are done by the system
• Court fee and Time limitations are calculated automatically
• Notices are generated
• Computer based Filing Counters are opened
• Filing receipts are generated for reference of advocates
• Query counters are available
• JUDIS & COURTNIC are available
• All High Courts are connected on NICNET/Internet
• Day to day Judgements and Orders are stored on computers
• Most of the High Courts’ Libraries are computerised
• Administrative and Account applications have been computerized
• Some of the High Courts have FTDMA/IPA V-Sat based Internet connectivity

District Courts Computerisation

In 1997, NIC took up the computerization of all 430 District Courts in the country on the lines of High Courts Computerization Project. The basic objectives of the project are:

• To provide transparency of information to the litigants and advocates
• To help the judicial administration in streamlining its activities
• To provide judicial and legal databases to the District Judges

NIC provided three level training programs to the District Court officials.
• Computer Awareness Programs for the District Judges.
• Supervisory level training at NIC State Centres.
• In-house hands on training to the District Court officials working on the computer terminals.

All officials have been trained on ‘District Court Information System’ (DCIS) software.

The DCIS Software is a huge general purpose Software package developed for the computerization of District Courts. This software takes care of all aspects of District Court needs.

On the Web

Following are some of the web-based applications which have been successfully implemented at Supreme Court and 18 High Courts and these applications have either direct or indirect impact on the masses i.e. litigants.

CASE-STATUS

(http://www.casestatus.nic.in)

This website provides Supreme Courts’ pending and disposed case status information to litigants/advocates on Internet. ‘Case-status’ gives the latest information with respect to the status of a case which could stand as: Disposed/Adjourned, Lower court details, party and advocate names etc. The moment a case is filed in the court, its ‘Case-status’ is available on the web. The ‘Case-status’ also provides all orders pertaining to a case, delivered so far by the court.

NIC has made the Causelists of the following High Courts on its Web servers apart from the Supreme Court of India:

Supreme Court of India
Allahabad
Andhra Pradesh
Bombay
Calcutta
Chattisgarh
Chennai
Delhi
Gujarat
Guwahati
Himachal Pradesh
Jabalpur
Jammu & Kashmir
Jharkhand
Jodhpur
Karnataka
Kerala
Patna
Punjab & Haryana
Orissa
Uttaranchal
Sikkim
High Court of Calcutta

JUDIS

(http://www.judis.nic.in)

NIC brought out Judgement Information System (JUDIS) on CD-Rom consisting of complete text of all reported judgement of Supreme Court of India from 1950 to 2000. The Judgements of 2001 onwards are available on Internet. JUDIS-CD is available on a Membership basis. Judgments can be accessed through: Part name, Advocate, Date of judgment and more importantly through Free text search. The Free text based search enables the users to retrieve all relevant judgements of a particular subject.

Cause Lists on Internet

(http://causelists.nic.in)

Causelists contain information on the scheduling of cases to be heard by the courts on the following day. Traditionally, the advocates receive the cyclostyled/printed copies of a day’s Cause List not before 8:00 PM. Some High Courts send the Cause List data on floppy to the printers for printing thousands of copies. This process costs each High Court lakhs of rupees every year. Now the Cause Lists of Supreme Court and all High Courts are available on NIC web servers. Though the High Courts are maintaining both the cyclostyled copies and the Internet version for the time being, all the courts have been suggested to replace the cyclostyled version and bring out only the Internet version. By making the Cause Lists available on the Internet, none of the High Courts is incurring any expenditure as they are using the already available infrastrusture and software of NIC. The Cause Lists on Internet facilitates the advocates to generate their own cause-lists consisting of his/her own cases. Retrieval can be made through the name of either petitioner or respondent and court-wise, judge-wise or entire Cause List can be generated.

Daily Orders on Internet

(http://www.dailyorders.nic.in )

The daily orders of Supreme Court, Delhi High Court are available on the web, immediately after they are signed by the Judges. These orders are only for information to the litigants since the official copy of the signed orders has to be obtained through normal channels. The databases are maintained by the respective courts. The Free text based search enables the users to access relevant orders of the court on the same subject. It also helps the users in accessing orders without knowing the case no. or party name.

Following tribunals/quasi judicial authorities also have their web sites:


Appellate tribunal for Electricity
http://aptel.gov.in/

Central Administrative Tribunal
http://cgat.gov.in/

Company Law Board
http://clb.nic.in/

Customs Excise, Service Tax Appellate Tribunal
http://cestat.gov.in/

Debt Recovery Tribunal, Chennai
http://www.drat.tn.nic.in/

Debt Recovery Tribunal-I, Chennai
http://drt1chennai.tn.nic.in/

Debt Recovery Tribunal-II, Chennai
http://drt2chennai.tn.nic.in/

Debt Recovery Tribunal, Coimbatore
http://drtcbe.tn.nic.in/

Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal, Chennai
http://www.ipab.tn.nic.in/

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal
http://itat.nic.in/

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Jaipur
http://itat.nic.in/

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
http://www.trai.gov.in/

Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal
http://www.tdsat.nic.in/

National Human Rights Commission
http://nhrc.nic.in/

Rajasthan State Human Rights Commission
http://rshrc.nic.in/


State Human Rights Commission Tamilnadu
http://www.shrc.tn.nic.in/


West Bengal Human Rights Commission
http://wbhrc.nic.in/

Railway Claims Tribunal
http://rct.nic.in/

Board of Industrial & Financial Reconstruction
http://www.bifr.nic.in/

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
http://ncdrc.nic.in/

Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
http://delhistatecommission.nic.in/

Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
http://kscdrc.kar.nic.in/

Madhya Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
http://www.mpscdrc.nic.in/

Uttar Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
http://scdrc.up.nic.in/

West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
http://wbconsumers.nic.in/statecommission.htm

Andhra Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
http://scdrc.ap.nic.in/

Goa State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
http://goagrahak.nic.in/dailyboards.htm

Private Reply to Vijay Nair

Sep 19, 2007 2:55 amre: [Information] e-Governance in Indian Courts#

SOEB FATEHI
Vijay -

is it possible to file a PIL (or whatever it is called) for revamping nic.in and gov.in websites to improve usability, speed and navigation ? i say PIL and not suggestion since "ignorance of the law is not sufficient grounds for non compliance" and therefore it is incumbent on the government to dispel ignorance with speed and reach.

i am sure NASSCOM and other professional trade bodies and chambers of commerce will be delighted to help . . . .

- Soeb

Private Reply to SOEB FATEHI

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