Ministry of Law and Justice

Digitization of Courts

Posted On: 03 FEB 2023 5:05PM by PIB Delhi

The Government has launched the eCourts Integrated Mission Mode Project in the country for computerization of District and subordinate courts with the objective of improving access to justice using technology. As part of the National eGovernance Plan, the project is under implementation since 2007 for ICT development of the Indian Judiciary based on the “National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology in the Indian Judiciary”. eCourts project is being implemented in association with e-Committee Supreme Court of India and Department of Justice.Phase I of the project was implemented during 2011-2015. Phase II of the project started in 2015 under which 18,735 District & Subordinate courts have been computerised.The detailed break-up of computerization of court complexes has been attached in Annexure-I.

During Phase II of the eCourts project, one video conference equipment each has been provided to all Court Complexes including taluk level courts and funds have been sanctioned for additional VC equipment for 14,443 court rooms. Funds for setting up 2506 VC Cabins have been made available. Additional 1500 VC Licenses have been acquired. VC facilities are already enabled between 3240 court complexes and corresponding 1272 jails.

Funds released during the last three years for development of digital infrastructure are mentioned below:

Year

Budget Sanctioned

Budget Released

2019-20

180

179.26

2020-21

180

179.31

2021-22

98.82

98.30

Total

458.82

456.88

Following initiatives have been taken under eCourts project -

  1. Under the Wide Area Network (WAN) Project,connectivity has been provided to 99.4% (2976 out of earmarked 2994) of total Court Complexes across India with 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps bandwidth speed.
  2. Case Information Software (CIS) is based on Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) which has been developed by NIC. Currently CIS National Core Version 3.2 is being implemented in District Courts and the CIS National Core Version 1.0 is being implemented for the High Courts.
  3. National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) is a database of orders, judgments, and cases, created as an online platform under the eCourts Project. It provides information relating to judicial proceedings/decisions of all computerized district and subordinate courts of the country. Litigants can access case status information in respect of over 21.99 crore cases and morethan 20.10 crore orders / judgments (as on 02.01.2023). Open APIs have been introduced in 2020 to allow Central and State Governments and institutional litigants including local bodies to access NJDG data to improve pendency monitoring and compliance.
  4. As part of eCourts project, 7 platforms have been created to provide real time information on case status, cause lists, judgements etc. to lawyers/Litigants through SMS Push and Pull (2,00,000 SMS sent daily), Email (2,50,000 sent daily), multilingual and tactile eCourts services Portal (35 lakh hits daily), JSC (Judicial Service centres) and Info Kiosks.  In addition, Electronic Case Management Tools (ECMT) have been created with Mobile App for lawyers (total 1.50 cr. downloads till 31stOctober 2022) and JustIS app for judges (18,407 downloads till 31stDecember 2022). JustIS mobile app is now available in iOS as well.
  5. 21 Virtual Courts in 17 States/UTs have been operationalized to handle traffic challan cases. More than 2.40 crore cases have been handled by 21 virtual courts and in more than 32 lakhs (32,62,303) cases online fine of more than Rs. 347.86 crore has been realised till 02.01.2023.
  6. The Supreme Court of India emerged as a global leader by conducting 3,79,954 hearings (till 24.12.2022 since the beginning of lockdown period). The High Courts (76,62,243 cases and Subordinate Courts 1,68,47,529 cases) have conducted 2.45 crore virtual hearings till 24.12.2022. VC facilities have also been enabled between 3240 court complexes and corresponding 1272 jails. Funds for 2506 VC cabins and VC equipment for 14,443 courtrooms have also been released. 1500 VC licenses have been procured to promote virtual hearings. A sum of Rs. 7.60 crore has been released for procurement of 1732 Document Visualizers.
  7. New e-filing system (version 3.0) has been rolled out for the electronic filing of legal papers with upgraded features.  Draft eFiling rules have been formulated and circulated to the High Courts for adoption. A total of 19High Courts have adopted the model rules of e-Filing as on 31.12.2022.
  8. e-Filing of cases requires the option for electronic payment of fees which includes court fees, fines and penalties which are directly payable to the Consolidated Fund. A total of 20 High Courts have implemented e-payments in their respective jurisdictions. The Court Fees Act has been amended in 22 High Courts till 31.12.2022.
  9. National Service and Tracking of Electronic Processes (NSTEP) has been launched for technology enabled process serving and issuing of summons. It has currently been implemented in 28 States/ UTs.
  10. A new “Judgment Search” portal has been started with features such as search by Bench, Case Type, Case Number, Year, Petitioner/ Respondent Name, Judge Name, Act, Section, Decision: From Date, To Date and Full Text Search. This facility is being provided free of cost to all.
  11. To make effective use of database created through National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) and to make the information available to public 39 LED Display Message Sign Board System called Justice Clocks, have been installed in 25 High Courts.
  12. Towards creating widespread awareness and familiarization of eFiling and eCourts services and to address “skill divide”, a manual on eFiling and a Brochure on “How to register for eFiling” has been made available in English, Hindi and 11 regional languages for the use of the lawyers. A YouTube channel has been created in the name of the e Court services with video tutorials on eFiling. The eCommittee of the Supreme Court of India has conducted trainings and awareness programmes on the ICT services. These programmes have covered nearly 5,13,080 stakeholders, including High Court Judges, Judges of the District Judiciary, Court Staff, Master Trainers among Judges/DSA, Technical Staff of High Courts, and Advocates.

The phase II of the project is nearing its completion and DPR for e-Courts Phase III has been finalized and approved by eCommittee, Supreme Court of India.Phase III of the e-Courts project mentions a judicial system that is more affordable, accessible, cost-effective, predictable, reliable, and transparent for every individual who seeks justice or is part of the delivery of justice in India. DPR of eCourtsPhase III  mentions various new features such as Digital and Paperless Courts aimedat bringing court proceedings under a digital format in a court; Online Court  focussing on eliminating the presence of litigants or lawyers in the court ; expansion of scope of Virtual Courts beyond adjudication of Traffic Violations ; use of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and its subsets like Optical Character Recognition (OCR) etc for analysis of case pendency, forecasting future litigation, etc.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Law & Justice, Shri Kiren Rijiju, in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

 

Annexure-I

Statement referred to in reply of Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No.267 for 03/02/2023 regardingDigitization of Courts. The details of court complex and computerization of courts under eCourts project Phase-II are as under:

S.No

High Court

State

Court Complexes

Courts

1

Allahabad

Uttar Pradesh

180

2222

2

Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh

218

617

3

Bombay

Dadra and Nagar Haveli

1

3

Daman and Diu

2

2

Goa

17

39

Maharashtra

471

2157

4

Calcutta

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

4

14

West Bengal

89

827

5

Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh

93

434

6

Delhi

Delhi

6

681

7

Gauhati

Arunachal Pradesh

14

28

Assam

74

408

Mizoram

8

69

Nagaland

11

37

8

Gujarat

Gujarat

376

1268

9

Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh

50

162

10

Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh

Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh

86

218

11

Jharkhand

Jharkhand

28

447

12

Karnataka

Karnataka

207

1031

13

Kerala

Kerala

158

484

Lakshadweep

1

3

14

Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh

213

1363

15

Madras

Puducherry

4

24

Tamil Nadu

263

1124

16

Manipur

Manipur

17

38

17

Meghalaya

Meghalaya

7

42

18

Orissa

Odisha

185

686

19

Patna

Bihar

84

1142

20

Punjab & Haryana

Chandigarh

1

30

Haryana

53

500

Punjab

64

541

21

Rajasthan

Rajasthan

247

1240

22

Sikkim

Sikkim

8

23

23

Telangana

Telangana

129

476

24

Tripura

Tripura

14

84

25

Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand

69

271

 

Total

 

3452

18735

 

*****

SS/RKM



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