Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Electronic Delivery Of Justice In India: Why It Failed?

Establishment of Electronic Courts in India is a tedious and complicated process. It requires tremendous Techno Legal Expertise without which Electronic Courts in India cannot be established.

The key advantages of establishment of Electronic Courts in India is achievement of Transparency and Efficiency, reduction in Corruption and Backlog of cases, Cost and Time Saving, Witness Protection, etc. Through E-Filing cases can be filed from any part of India and if we use E-Trials as well we would be allowing greater participation of Witnesses in Court Proceedings.

It must also be understood that there is a difference between a Computerised Court and Electronic Court (E-Court). Although we have many Computerised Courts in India, even in District Courts of Delhi and High Court of Delhi, yet we do not have a single E-Court in India till March 2012.

Till a Computerised Court is capable of Electronic Filing, Electronic Evidence Submission, etc through Internet it cannot be termed as an E-Court. Presently, physical presence at the Court’s premises is required to submit files and documents on Electronic Media like CDs and that negates the whole concept of E-Courts in India.

Lack of Techno Legal Expertise is the main reason for poor performance of E-Courts in India. Further, Governmental and Judicial Will to establish E-Courts in India are also missing. Establishment of E-Courts in India can help in reducing the backlog of cases in India. Although there are no exact figures that can be given in this regard yet I believe that establishment of E-Courts could help in reducing Backlog of cases upto 30%.

It is absolutely required to establish E-Courts in India as soon as possible. The first indication of establishment of E-Courts in India was given in the year 2003. However, till now not even a single E-Court has been established by any State or by Centre. India must establish few E-courts within the next Five years.

However, establishment of E-Courts in India in the next Five years depends upon how “Serious” we are regarding establishment of E-Courts in India. With the present “Speed” and “Commitment” we cannot establish even a single E-Court in India by 2017. However, if we start working in this direction right now, establishment of few “Experimental E-Courts” is possible till 2017. Time has come to seriously work in this regard as Electronic Delivery of Justice in India has failed to materialise so far.

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