Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Role Of ICT In Effective Judicial System

Information and communication technology (ICT) has a crucial role to play in the timely and effective justice dispensation. Online dispute resolution (ODR), e-courts, video conferencing, digital evidencing, sending bail orders and notices through e-mail, knowing online status of cases, online delivery of certified copies of judgments, etc are some of the examples of use of ICT for effective justice delivery.

Successful establishment of e-courts can take care of all the abovementioned aspects of use of technology for effective judicial system. E-courts can take care of issues ranging from filing of cases to the delivery of certified copy of the judgment.

In the Indian context, we are still waiting for the establishment of first e-court of India. Although media reports of establishment of e-courts in India have been surfacing from time to time since 2003 yet as on data we do not have a single e-court in India. Media reports have confused “computerisation” with e-courts as all that has happened in India is computerisation of some traditional aspects of litigation and nothing more.

E-courts require the capability and expertise to provide all litigation services in an online environment. To achieve that purpose we need to have e-courts skills development initiatives in India.

Law Ministry of India must urgently take initiative in this regard as sufficient funds have already been allocated for establishment of e-courts in India and for improving the judicial infrastructure of India.

It has been more than 8 years since it was first declared that e-courts would be established in India. However, lack of expertise has failed this much needed integrated mission mode e-governance project of India. Time has come to give it a dedicated try.

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