What is E-Courts Project?

The E-Courts Project is being implemented since 2007 as a part of the National E-Governance Plan. The project is based on the National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology in Judiciary. The main objective of the project is to leverage ICT to provide designated services to lawyers, litigants and judiciary. So far, 2,927 courts have been connected by high-speed wide area network all over the country under the project.

About the Project

The E-Courts project is currently being implemented in two phases. The Phase I was executed between 2010 and 2015. The Phase II is being implemented between 2015 and 2020 at an outlay of Rs 1670 crores. The main objectives of the project are as follows

  • To provide time bound citizen centric services.
  • To install, develop and implement decision support systems in courts
  • To automate processes and provide transparency to its stakeholders.
  • To enhance judicial productivity and to make the justice delivery accessible, predictable, transparent and reliable.

The project is funded by Ministry of Law and Justice.

Background

The E-Courts were conceptualized under the National Policy and Action Plan Implementation of Information and Communication Technology in the Indian Judiciary, 2005. The policy was submitted by the E-Committee of Supreme Court of India.

Recently, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court of India passed directions to all the courts of the country to use video conferencing for judicial proceedings. E-courts are not virtual courts.

What is E-court?

E-Courts are electronic courts where matters of law are adjudicated in the presence of a qualified judge. They are different from a computerised court. In E-courts, the litigants can file their pliant electronically, view their status of cases online, pay court fee and fines online.

Advantages of E-Courts

  • They make the courts affordable to all sections of the society
  • It makes litigation faster
  • The experience of E-courts is personalised and private.

Challenges of E-Courts

  • The staff are not well equipped to maintain e-court records
  • Cyber security is a huge concern.
  • Lack of confidence among the litigants still prevails in the E-Court system.

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