Saturday, June 7, 2014

E-Courts In India: An Essential Judicial Reform



Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Indian Judiciary and in Indian Courts needs rejuvenation. The successful use of e-governance for Indian e-judiciary model requires a techno-legal e-court framework. We need ICT Training and e-courts training for Indian Judicial System as soon as possible. Further, electronic courts in India must also be supported by active use of online dispute resolution (ODR) in India to reduce backlog of cases. Legal enablement of ICT systems in India is need of the hour.

Establishment of E-Courts in India is an important aspect of judicial and legal reforms in India. However, despite this pressing need India has been doing nothing in this regard except giving press statements since 2003. Till June 2014, we are still waiting for the establishment of first e-court in India. E-Courts in India cannot be established till we have experts who can manage this ambitious e-governance pilot project. Similarly, we also need to train judges and lawyers regarding not only e-courts but also for laws like cyber law and telecommunication laws. India has to do much more than mere press statements and opening of e-courts on “papers only” if it really wishes to encash the benefits of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for effective, speedier and constitutional justice delivery system. The ICT Trends of India 2009 have proved that Indian e-governance initiatives like E-Courts, E-Bharat, etc have failed due to lack of proper training, management and insight.


The current litigation system of India is not only antique in nature but has become cumbersome and time consuming as well. The backlog of cases is increasing day by day affecting the outcome of various cases. There is an emergent need of judicial and legal reforms in India so that courts in India can meet the expectations of the 21st Century. This has to be done by maintaining a stance that preserves the courts reputation and supports the courts critical role in maintaining public confidence in the protection afforded to them by the law.
The public confidence in the Criminal Justice System of India is declining and the same has forced the Government of India (GOI) to bring this issue right back to the top of the political agenda. Its aim is to cut crimes by increasing the number of criminals brought to trial and reducing the time taken to complete the legal process.

However, if the courts have to keep in step and play their part in restoring public confidence in the legal system then they must find new ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. Information and Communication technology (ICT) can be a panacea for the dying judicial system of India. We can effectively use ICT for establishment of E-Courts in India so that E-Judiciary in India can be a reality.

However, the task is really difficult to achieve because of lack of expertise, techno-legal training and absence of time bound performance. Every year in the month of February, the tenure of E-Courts Committee is extended for another year. This shows there is a lack of Political Will to achieve the task as merely extending time for another year without performance report and accountability is just a pretext to avoid the ultimate accomplishment, i.e. establishment of E-Courts in India.
The fact remains that despite all glamorous conferences and public announcements, we do not have 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. Where those claimed E-Courts are and what cases they had adjudicated is still a big mystery.

It seems India is just making press statements years after years and courts after courts about establishment of E-Courts in India without actually establishing and operationalising them. The task of their establishment and operationalising cannot be accomplished till we honestly and dedicatedly try to achieve the same. Till now India is just adopting the half hearted efforts and evasive approach.

The establishment of E-Courts in India requires certain prerequisites. These are:

(1) E-Courts Policy: Setting Policy for various aspects of E-Courts is the first and foremost requirement. In the absence of a well defined and pre decided framework, no direction can be given to the E-Courts scheme of India.

(2) Connectivity: Creating an interconnected system across all court levels is an important aspect of E-courts. The District Courts in India must be connected with High Courts and Supreme Court for better, timely and effective disposal of cases.

(3) Simplicity And User Friendly: E-Court mechanism must be not only simple but also be user friendly. The litigants must find the e-Courts facilities in India very easy to adopt.

(4) Scope: In India we consider mere computerisation as establishment of E-Courts. In reality, E-Courts is much broader than mere computerisation and filing facilities.

(5) Authentication: Authentication plays an important role in fixing attribution and legal responsibility. There must be a “Technology Neutral Mechanism” to authenticate various stages of E-Courts usages.

(6) Integrity: E-Courts must ensure integration among court and justice systems.

(7) Security: Security of E-Courts Infrastructure and System is of paramount importance. A system must be put in place that provides secure access to case information for appropriate parties

(8) Data Keeping: All the information regarding use of E-Courts facilities must be duly recorded and stored. These include maintaining proper records of e-file minute entries, notification/service, summons, warrants, bail orders, etc for ready and subsequent references.

(9) Payment Gateway: A secure, efficient and fully operational payment gateway must be established so that various payments and fees regarding court cases can be made online.

(10) Absence Of Monopoly: The E-Courts Project must not be given to a single vendor. Instead the E-Court Committee of India must adopt a multiple vendor approach.
In the opinion of Perry4Law, this list is just “Illustrative” and not exhaustive. Establishment of and maintaining the E-Courts Project in India requires a Techno-Legal approach including getting expertise of matters pertaining to Cyber Security, Cyber Forensics, Digital Evidencing, and many more.

We wish the Government of India and E-Court Committee of India would succeed this time and there would be no need of another extension in the month of February 2010.

INDIAN E-COURTS PROJECT UPDATES OF 2014

STATUS OF E-COURTS IN INDIA IN JUNE 2014
India does not have even a single e-court. There is no sign of any e-courts in India till June 2014 despite ignorant media claims.

ICT TRENDS IN INDIA 2009 AND E-COURTS IN INDIA

The ICT Trends Of India 2009 have given a “Negative Report” about the progress of E-Courts in India. According to the trend report, till the end of 31st December 2009, there is not even a single e-court in India. Of course, some “Computerisation Efforts” have been undertaken by some courts in India but they are by no means sufficient to call these courts e-courts.

EXTENSION OF E-COURT COMMITTEE’S TENURE BEYOND FEBRUARY 2010
E-Court Committee of India has been seeking extension from time to time. The last time it was extended by the Union Cabinet and it gave its approval for the extension of the term of E-Committee beyond February, 2009, for a period of one year. The Cabinet also approved that subsequent extensions of the E-Committee would be made with the approval of the Minister for Law and Justice after consultation with the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure.

There is no "Public Declaration" of extension of E-Court Committee's tenure since February 2010 and it seems to have been dissolved.

Although no news of extension of the tenure of E-Courts Committee of Supreme Court of India by Ministry of Law and Justice has been publically made yet the Supreme Court of India has “Reconstituted” E-Committee on 28th January, 2013. It talks about “Invitee Members” also but on a closer look it is clear that the same is almost an “Institutional Committee” with no outside experts on the basis of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Model.

UPDATES FOR EXTENSION OF E-COURTS COMMITTEE'S TENURE BEYOND FEBRUARY 2010

It seems the E-Court Project has been stalled temporarily. Some have even suggested that the e-court project has been scrapped. These conclusions also seem to be logical as there is no news of the extension of the tenure of E-Courts Committee of India by Ministry of Law and Justice till June 2014. Even there are no signs of any Empowered Committee of Department of Justice, Ministry of Law, India that could have undertaken the task of establishment of E-Courts in India in the absence of E-Court Committee of India. So for all practical purposes the E-Court of India has failed and remains on papers alone.

In short, India has no E-Court Infrastructure at all and we are still waiting for the establishment of First E-Court of India till June 2014.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reconstruction Of Records, E-Courts And Right To Fair Trial In India

There are circumstances where the records of police and judicial authorities may go missing or are destroyed beyond redemption. In such a case, proceeding with the concerned court case is next to impossible.

If the records of the proceedings are destroyed due to natural calamities and their reconstruction is not possible, then the court has no other option but to acquit the accused.

The traditional record keeping has this serious drawback that is absent when we adopt information and communication technology (ICT). For instance, if electronic records are maintained, the reconstruction of lost or destroyed records is just a click away.

Establishment of e-courts in India is of prime importance in the present ICT driven era. However, till the month of March 2013 we are still waiting for the establishment of first e-court of India. Digital preservation in India is also not in good shape.

If a guilty person is acquitted due to inability to reconstruct the records or an innocent is convicted due to defective reconstruction of records, this would amount to miscarriage of justice and violation of right to fair trial. Therefore, proper reconstruction of records is of utmost importance.

In a latest case in this regard, a Division Bench of Delhi High Court, comprising of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain, has directed a District and Sessions Judge to “reconstruct” within two weeks the records pertaining to a 20-year-old rape case, in which judicial and police files went missing. The bench also directed for appropriate action against the officers responsible for missing of the files.

The bench further ordered for setting up a committee to examine the practices and systems prevailing in the matters of custody and maintenance of court records. At Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) we welcome this move of the Delhi High Court as it is progressive in nature and justice oriented.  

We also feel that an electronic record is not only durable but can be easily stored as well. It must be noted that in majority of cases the witnesses do not come forward to give evidence and many important pieces of evidences are lost forever. This results in acquittal of the accused and a miscarriage of justice.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Courts Automation Systems In India, E-Courts And Online Dispute Resolution

Indian courts have been using information and communication technology (ICT) for effective judicial functioning. New features like online cause lists, filing of cases on digital mediums like CDs, providing of judgments online, use of video conferencing, etc. are already being used by courts of India.

However, automation of courts systems in India is still far from satisfactory. We are still waiting for the establishment of first e-court of India. Till now India has been able to computerise some courts alone and e-courts functionalities are still missing.

For instance, courts automation and functionalities like e-filing, submission of notices and evidence, online cross examination, online cyber forensics support, etc are still missing.

At Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) we are managing the exclusive techno legal e-courts training and consultancy centre of India. This e-courts centre is also managing software repositories in the fields like courts automation, cyber forensics, cyber security, online dispute resolution, etc.

Further, the e-courts centre of India is also imparting techno legal trainings in the fields like cyber law, cyber forensics, cyber security, e-courts management, courts automation, judicial and legal integration system, legal management systems, e-discovery, etc.

Skills development and trainings for lawyers, public prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, judges and court master and staff is also undertaken by PTLB.

ICT can be used to bring judicial reforms in India. At Perry4Law and PTLB we believe that establishment of e-courts in India and using online dispute resolution in India for effective and alternative dispute resolution can not only bring the pending cases down but also help in providing speedy and economic justice to the litigants. 

The sooner e-courts are established in India and ODR is used for alternative dispute resolution the better it would be for the legal and judicial system of India.

Source: Legal Enablement Blog Of PTLB.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Indian Cyber Law Firms And Lawyers

Cyber law firms in New Delhi India are not easy to find. This is because there are only handfuls of cyber law firms in India. Cyber law is essentially a techno legal field that requires a thorough knowledge of both technical and legal aspects.

Cyber law is a complicated subject that requires tremendous expertise to manage. There are very few cyber law firms in New Delhi India and Perry4Law is proud to be one of them. Further, Perry4Law is the exclusive techno legal ICT law firm of India and is the exclusive techno legal cyber law firm of India.

The cyber law expertise of Perry4Law is supported by Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) that is the leading techno legal platform of the world. PTLB is also managing the exclusive techno legal cyber crime investigation centre of India (CCICI) that is assisting in investigation and solving of cyber crimes in India.

PTLB is also resolving India’s glaring cyber security challenges and strengthening the cyber security environment of India through it exclusive techno legal cyber security research and development centre of India (CSRDCI). Further, the national cyber security database of India (NCSDI) is also a cyber security initiative of PTLB.


As a techno legal ICT law firm we are trying to give cyber law of India a new shape. Further, one area that has recently interested the legal community pertains to cyber security. Although cyber security as a legal field has started gaining attention of foreign lawyers and law firms yet cyber security law firms in India or cyber security lawyers in India are still missing.

If you are interested in our cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, e-discovery, e-commerce, intellectual property rights (IPRs), corporate laws, LPO and KPO, e-courts, online dispute resolution (ODR), cyber skills development, cyber law trainings and other techno legal services, you may contact us in this regard.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Techno Legal Initiatives Of Perry4Law And PTLB

Techno legal issues pose special challenges before all nations. This is so because these issues are complex combination of both technical and legal issues. At Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) we have been spearheading many world renowned techno legal initiatives.


Similarly, on the education, trainings and skills development front as well Perry4Law and PTLB have been managing many initiatives. For instance, the exclusive techno legal e-learning in India is managed by PTLB whereas highly specialised and domain specific trainings and education is managed by Perry4Law techno Legal ICT Training Centre (PTLITC).  


We are also discussing important issues pertaining to international ICT policies and strategies. Similarly, techno legal issues are specifically discussed at PTLB blog. We hope these initiatives would prove useful to all stakeholders.

Source: ICTPS Blog

Saturday, July 4, 2009

LEGAL ENABLEMENT OF ICT SYSTEMS IN INDIA

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an essential requirement these days. No Nation of the World can afford to ignore its benefits and utility. With the benefits of ICT also come its drawbacks and disabling features. This takes the shape of misuse of ICT in various forms and for many purposes. The increasing cases of cyber crimes and contraventions are a prime example of the same. It is of utmost importance that while encouraging the active uses of ICT we must also prevent its misuses as well. To do the same we need to formulate suitable laws that are capable of meeting the contemporary societal requirements. This is where the legal enablement of ICT systems in India assumes significance.

Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno-Legal Base (PTLB) have been instrumental in shaping the legal framework for information society of India. They have contributed a lot for the legal enablement of ICT systems in India through their suggestions, recommendations, opinions, views, etc. To make the legal enablement more effective, Perry4Law and PTLB have initiated Cyber Law Training in India.

One of the most effective aspects of legal enablement of ICT systems is the use of ICT for judicial and legal purposes. We have to establish E-Courts In India as soon as possible. Perry4Law and PTLB have also launched an E-Courts Training and Consultancy Centre in India to cater the growing demands for e-courts establishment, maintenance and improvements.

ADR and ODR services in India are also essential aspect of legal enablement of ICT systems in India. To strengthen alternative dispute resolution in India we have to actively use ICT for the same.

The ICT Trends of India 2009 have shown some of the basic weaknesses of Indian efforts in the direction of legal enablement of ICT systems in India. Briefly speaking, India must pay more attentions towards issues like E-Governance in India, E-Commerce in India, Cyber Forensics in India, Cyber Security in India, etc.

Perry4Law and PTLB are providing domain specific and highly specialised Techno-Legal Services in India. Some of our Techno-Legal Services are:

(1) Techno-Legal Services Of Perry4Law,

(2)
Techno-Legal Computer Forensics Services In India,

(3)
Techno-Legal Cyber Law, Cyber Forensics And Technology Laws Training Of Judges, Lawyers, Corporate Executives, CEO in India,

(4) Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) Project (
CCTNS Project)

(5)
Techno-Legal Consultants, Experts And Specialists for National Mission For Delivery Of Justice And Legal Reforms In India,

(6) Techno-Legal E-Learning, Higher Education And Lifelong Learning Consortiums And Partnerships,

(7)
Cyber law Consultancy In India, Cyber Law Litigation Support In India And Cyber Law Training In India,

(8)
Computer forensics Services In India By Perry4Law,

(9)
Techno-Legal Cyber Law Compliance Services In India,

(10)
Techno-Legal ADR And ODR Services In India, etc.