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E-courts to reduce pendency in a big way
August, 07th 2012

The government is working on a project as part of computerization of courtrooms where you will get certified copies of judgments online, putting an end to making inordinate rounds of courts. There will be additional facilities like e-payments and e-filing as well.

A senior law ministry official said the computerization of courtrooms are in progress and already more than 8,500 courts across the country have been networked and efforts are on to complete the process in the next few years.

Law minister Salman Khurshid confirmed the ongoing drive to modernize courtrooms at a recent media interaction, saying the government has set a deadline for computerization of 12,000 courts across the country by 2015.

The minister said along with computerization the government had initiated a drive last year to bring down pendency of cases. "Last year we started pendency reduction drive which brought down the number of pendency cases by six lakh nationwide," he added.

Currently there are more than 3.20 crore pending cases in various courts. Of this nearly 2.76 crore cases are in the subordinate courts, while 44 lakh are pending in various High Courts and nearly 60,000 in the Supreme Court.

The concept of e-courts will help the judges to take home case files in pen drives to go through them rather than taking the hard copy of the files. Already e-courts have become functional in Delhi, where undertrials need not be brought to the courtroom or judges need not be face-to-face with advocates and the accused to hear a case. All these could be made possible from different locations with the e-courts becoming a reality.

For the purpose of making e-payments of court fees, laws have been amended in Mumbai and Delhi, while plans are afoot to ensure that it applies to all courts in central government jurisdiction and those in the Union Territories.

The Centre is also trying to rationalize the work allocation of law officers to bring in more efficiency in the system and bring down pendency of cases.

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