Mains Paper 2: Polity | Structure, organization & functioning of the Executive & the Judiciary
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: e-filing, e-pay, NSTEP, NJGD, WAN
Mains level: ICT measures to reduce Judicial Pendency
- The CJI has launched various applications for the benefit of the litigants and lawyers at an event in the Supreme Court of India.
- Three applications of e-filing, e-pay, and NSTEP (National Service and Tracking of Electronic Processes) created under the eCourts project were launched during the occasion.
- The Department of Justice is administering a Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity project connecting all the district and taluka courts through BSNL in a single network grid under the eCourts Project.
- The eFiling application will facilitate efficient administration of Judicial System, as it will ease pressure on filing counters and will speed up work flow processing.
- Data entry will be more accurate which will help to take data driven decisions in court administration.
- It will start building digital repositories which will auto generate paper books and can be quickly transmitted to Higher Courts which will reduce delays.
- The application will help reduce touch point of litigants will also result in more productivity of staff members and can send documents for service to other locations or mail addresses.
- The E-Pay application at ecourts.gov.in is a unified portal wherein facility to pay online court fees is provided.
- The platform is user friendly which can be used with very little self help. E-Payment is a safe and secure, quick and easy way to pay court fees .
- At present, the facility will be made operational in two states of Maharashtra and Haryana.
- OTP authentication provides secure way to financial transactions and one can get instant acknowledgement through SMS and print receipt.
- The application is beneficial to judicial administration since verification of court fees is more easy, secure and transparent and accurate figures of court fees collected can be generated for any court, district or State.
National Service and Tracking of Electronic Processes (NSTEP)
- It is a collaboration between Case Information Software (CIS), Web portal and Mobile Application.
- It is a transparent and secure system for transmission of process from one location to another, and shall address delays in process serving particularly for processes beyond jurisdiction.
- NSTEP will lead to secured auto generation of processes with unique QR Code through CIS, publishing processes on portal and transmission of processes to other court complexes in the country and ultimately to mobile app of the bailiffs.
- A facility to send electronic processes directly to registered mail of the addressee by secured mechanism, to upload documents associated with process and facilities like tracking GPS where process is served or otherwise, obtaining photograph and on screen signature after service is provided.
- Immediate communication of status of service of process to Court and stake holders will be done and there is a secured dedicated system for transmission of processes from one district to another or from one state to another with travel time in seconds.
- The status of service can also be tracked on public portal. It will empower litigants to take immediate follow up action which will reduce delays.
- The eCourts Project was conceptualized on the basis of the “National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary – 2005”.
- The plan was formulated by Ecommittee of the Supreme Court.
- The eCourts Mission Mode Project is a Pan-India Project monitored and funded by Department of Justice for the District Courts across the country.
- In 2013 CJI launched the e-Courts National portal ecourts.gov.in of the eCourts Project.
- More than 2852 Districts and Taluka Court Complexes have secured their presence on the NJDG and are providing Case Status, Cause lists online with many of them also uploading orders/judgments.
- The data of more than 7 crore pending and disposed of cases and 3.3 crore orders/judgments of District Courts in India is available on NJDG at present.
National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG)
- The NJDG for district & subordinate courts has been created as an online platform which now provides information relating to judicial proceedings/decisions of 16,089 computerized district and subordinate courts of the country.
- The portal provides online information to litigants such as details of case registration, cause list, case status, daily orders, and final judgments.
- Currently litigants can access case status information in respect of over 10 crore cases and more than 7 crore orders / judgments.
- Case information is thus available speedily to the petitioners and respondents.
- The eCourts portal and National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) also serve as tools of efficient court and case management for judiciary which aids in disposal of pending cases.
Wide Area Network (WAN)
The Department of Justice is administering a Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity project connecting all the district and taluka courts through BSNL in a single network grid under the eCourts Project.