PM Narendra Modi addressing at the event marking the introduction of digital filing as a step towards paperless Supreme Court, in New Delhi on May 10, 2017 (file photo)
Court case information such as judicial proceedings, decisions, case registration, cause list, case status, daily orders, and final judgments of all computerized district and subordinate courts of the country will now be available across all Common Service Centres (CSCs) in the country.
The Government of India had initiated the second phase of the eCourts project as one of the National e-Governance projects, in August, 2015 with an outlay of Rs. 1670 crores. India’s Ministry of Law & Justice said on January 24 that 16845 district and subordinate courts have been IT-enabled.
The eCourts project works under the guidance of the e-Committee of Supreme Court of India in computerizing district and subordinate courts of the country through installation of case information software, hardware, and local area network in courts.
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They are also being connected on Wide Area Network through a dedicated network offering bandwidth of up to 100 Mbps. According to the Ministry of Law & Justice, the eCourts services have now been rolled out through SMS, email, web, mobile app, etc. benefiting millions of litigants and advocates.
In order to provide efficient and time-bound access to the Courts services to litigant public, who are on the other side of the digital divide and don’t have access to internet, the Department of Justice has decided to deliver eCourts services to them through around 2 lakh (200,000) CSCs.
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The rural reach of the CSC’s is extensive, envisaging a minimum of one CSC in each Gram Panchayat, thus enabling eCourts services to reach all corners of the country.
The collaboration between Department of Justice and CSCs would thus mean that litigants can access easily, and readily case status information available on eCourts database from any CSC. The eCourts database contains case information of over 10 crore (100 million) cases and more than 7 crore (70 million) orders / judgments.
To ensure affordability, the Department of Justice has decided not to charge any fee from the customers for eCourts-related services delivered through CSC’s. However, CSCs have been authorized to charge Rs. 5 for any of the 23 services available on Courts portal. Printing charges will be Rs. 5 per page, if it is more than one page.