Hyderabad: Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are the first states in the country where Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS) will be launched, Supreme Court Judge Madan B Lokur said today.
“Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have made lot of progress and that is one of the reasons we have decided that the ICJS is going to be launched in both the states,” he said.
Justice Lokur, who is also the judge incharge of SC’s e-committee, was speaking after inaugurating the first e-court (paperless court) in the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
“This system is going to integrate the courts, police stations, prosecution, forensic science laboratories and Jails. We will work out the modalities… a meeting is scheduled on July 28. I am happy to say that Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are the first two states in the country that have been chosen for the ICJS project,” he said.
Justice P Naveen Rao, one of the members of the computer committee of the high court, will preside over the e-court from tomorrow.
“I was very impressed with the e-court today and during this coming week, I am going to try and introduce it in Supreme Court as well,” Justice Lokur said.
“We are also looking at ‘case management’ and once we are able to introduce it successfully, the movement of cases will be very much faster and justice will be far more expeditious than it is at the present moment,” he said.
He said the judicial officers need to get involved. “I request the leaders of the Bar Association so that we will be able to have vastly improved ‘case management system’ to provide speedy justice to litigants,” he said.
On the video conferencing system, Justice Lokur said a study was done in Maharashtra which found that crores of rupees were saved through the use of video conferencing.
“Apart from financial saving, a large number of police personnel are deployed for transporting undertrials from jails to courts,” he said.
“We are now in the process of computerising the high courts, though substantial progress has been done, but we are trying to bring about some kind of uniformity between the data that is available in all the high courts,” he said.
“If the judiciary, lawyers, litigants and court staff work together we can bring about a massive change in justice delivery and access to justice,” he further said.
High Court’s Acting Chief Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale said the process of digitisation of HC records, judicial as well as administrative, is being actively pursued and in a period of one year or so thereafter, the entire records would be digitised.
Steps are being taken to install digital display boards and information kiosks in the complexes of city civil courts, Hyderabad and Secunderabad, metropolitan sessions court, the city small causes court and district court, Ranga Reddy, for displaying information of the case hearing status in different courts of the high court and also the case status information in respective court complexes, Bhosale said.
He said steps are being taken to introduce e-filing from June 2017, adding that simultaneously steps are being taken to digitise records in the sub-ordinate courts.
The HC is in the process of establishing an e-office which would integrate movement of files in electronic mode on all administrative matters within the high court and also between the HC and subordinate courts, he said.
The concept of e-court involves more usage of electronic paper in the court hall and dispensing with the movement of case records, which consumes time and manpower. It is a precursor to e-filing process which is in the offing.
The e-court process involves digitisation of case records and transmitting the digitised records to the court hall electronically. There will be an electronic cause list before the judge which will synchronise with the electronic case records available in the database.
The electronic files will be opened on a monitor placed before the judge and he will access the files on it and make digital notings. Provision is also made to record the dictation of the judgement in computer which can be subsequently used by stenographer for transcription.
Steps will be taken to enable the advocates to advance arguments based on the electronic record by providing electronic devices to the advocates also. Justice Lokur, however, said, “There is a problem of data entry. There is lot of inaccurate and incomplete data entry and very often the data is not updated on regular basis. I request the judicial officers to look into this.”
In this process, the advocates can avoid bringing voluminous case records to the court halls. By using the e-cause list, the court display board will be automatically updated without any manual entry and the SMS alerts to concerned advocates will be automatically sent.
The high court proposes more such e-courts in future for the benefit of the advocates and parties, Justice Bhosale added.