PTLB LPO Discussion Forum

Techno Legal Issues Of Law, Legal Services And Legal Profession => E-Courts Are Essential To Strengthen Judicial Systems Around The World => Topic started by: PTLB on January 24, 2017, 08:15:39 pm

Title: Electronic Courts (E-Courts) In India
Post by: PTLB on January 24, 2017, 08:15:39 pm
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Electronic Courts (E-Courts) in India (http://www.electroniccourts.in/) is a relatively new concept and this is the reason why there is lots of confusion and misinformation about e-courts of India. In India computerised courts are often confused with e-courts. But this is far from truth as mere computerization can never make a court an e-court.

Indian government has computerised certain administrative functions of courts by using information and communication technologies (ICT). But legal enablement of ICT systems in India (https://legalenablementofictinindia.blogspot.com/) is still missing by and large. Legal enablement presupposes active and pro active use of ICT for development (ICT4D). This is more so when access to justice for marganilised segment of India (http://www.electroniccourts.in/blog/?p=761) is ensured through ICT4D.
 
So what exactly is an e-court? An e-court is established only when the administrative and judicial processes are so combined that everything is managed in an online environment. For instance, from the serving of a legal notice/process to final adjudication of the matter, everything must be managed using ICT and over the Internet. The infrastructure necessary to achieve this must not be located or established at the courtís premises otherwise the entire purpose is defeated.

The facilities of e-courts must be accessible from any part of the world and not tied up to the physical location of the concerned court premises. If an individual or lawyer has to visit the concerned court premise and then use the computerised facilities, this is no more useful than physical filing at the filing counter.
 
The fact remains that despite all glamorous conferences, catchy phrases and public announcements, we do not have (https://legalenablementofictinindia.blogspot.com/2009/11/e-courts-in-india-essential-judicial.html) even a single E-Court in India and there is not even a single case that has been filed, contested and finally adjudicated through an E-Court System in India till January 2017. Where those claimed E-Courts are and what cases they had adjudicated is still a big mystery. The truth is whether it is national e-governance plan (NEGP) or digital India project, e-courts are still a distant dream.

An e-court committee has been established by the Supreme Court of India but progress of e-courts in India remains very slow. Indian government is also struck at the second stage of e-courts that is computerisation stage only. The second stage of e-courts may still not be possible till 2019/2020 with the present speed. However, that is not relevant and what is relevant is that we should have a fully functional e-court in India now.

Some guidance in this regard can be taken from online dispute resolution (ODR) in India (http://odrindia.in/). ODR is an effective mechanism of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) using ICT and related technologies. ODR is a classic example of ICT4D for legal and judicial purposes. However, even in the field of ODR Indian government has not been able to encash its benefits. Nevertheless, Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) (http://perry4law.org/) has been managing the first ever Techno Legal Centre of Excellence for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in India (TLCEODRI) (http://odrindia.in/tlceodri/) that has been providing ODR services in India for long.
 
The Cyber Arbitration Trends in India 2017 by TLCEODRI (http://odrindia.in/?p=53) have projected good uses of ODR in India in the year 2017. TLCEODRI has also launched a beta project (http://odrindia.in/training/odr/open.php) that can be used for ODR, cyber arbitration and with necessary modifications for even e-courts purposes. It is covering techno legal ODR and cyber arbitration services for cyber frauds, e-commerce disputes, cyber contraventions, credit card frauds, cyber law due diligence, etc.