At a time when even the court’s are going digital, the Bombay high court has said that in order to make the mechanism of E-filing effective, it is “absolutely essential” that prosecutors are provided with the facility of laptops/Ipads at the earliest.
The observation was made by Justice MS Karnik while hearing a bail plea filed by one Mangal Singh from Palghar district.
Singh’s Advocates, Rahul Singh and MS Singh, had filed the petition through e-filing, which is a digital way of filing petitions. Early this year, the high court made filing of cases through the e-filing portal mandatory.
Both systems in place for filing cases
However, after such a move , several lawyers' associations raised issues regarding the process and system. Highlighting certain technical glitches, the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa had also requested the High Court administration to allow physical filing as well. The court then permitted filing of cases physically. Hence, both systems have been in place for filing cases.
On November 7, during the hearing, additional public prosecutor PH Gaikwad sought time to argue the matter as he had received a hard copy of the bail application at the time of hearing.
Justice Karnik then asked Gaikwad whether a laptop or iPad had been made available to him to deal with such applications filed through e-filing. To this, Gaikwad replied in negative.
The court then observed that to make the e-filing mechanism effective, prosecutors should be provided with laptops or iPads. “To make the mechanism of e-filing effective, it is absolutely essential that APPs are provided with the facility of laptops/iPads at the earliest. This concern may be brought to the notice of the Advocate General. The intervention of the Advocate General is necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the e-filing system,” justice Karnik observed.
The court then asked advocate general Birendra Saraf to “look into the matter and bring this to the notice of the concerned department of the State Government for facilitating the required infrastructure for this purpose”.
The HC has kept the plea for further hearing on December 19.