MINISTRY OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL INFORMATICS CENTRE
COURTS INFORMATICS DIVISION
Status of Information Technology in Indian Courts
Ever since NIC took up computerization in Supreme Court in 1990, many applications have been computerized which have impact on masses i.e. litigants. Following are some of the applications which have been successfully implemented at Supreme Court and 18 High Courts and these applications have either direct or indirect impact on the masses .
Supreme Court of India
List of Business Information System (LOBIS) :
It is about scheduling of cases to be heard by the courts on the following day. It enabled the Registries of Supreme Court and High Courts in eliminating manual process of Cause List generation thus any manipulation by vested interests. These databases contain details of fresh cases, disposed and pending cases. It is the backbone application of every Court.
- As Cause Lists are generated automatically by the computer manual intervention has been eliminated resulting in generation of Cause List in time with out any hassle
- Cases are listed strictly in chronological order of date of filing; eliminated irregularities
- All cases having the same law point(s) to be decided by the courts are bunched/grouped and posted before one bench. This has helped the courts in faster disposal of cases.
- It has become simpler to recall dismissed cases when review petitions are filed.
- On the spot reliable and instantaneous statistical reports are generated
- It has helped Registry of Supreme Court in streamlining its day to day activities to achieve one of the main objectives of COURTIS Project
Filing Counter Computerization
In the Supreme Court of India and all High Courts fresh cases are filed only before the computerized Filing Counters. As the advocates stand in queue for Filing cases before the counters, the data entry Operator enters preliminary details required for Registration such as Party names, advocate details, etc. The computer terminal at the query counter is used to attend to the quarries of the litigants on the spot. The defects, if any, are listed out and handed over to the litigants/advocates for rectification. Time limitation is also checked by the system automatically.
- The filing process is made easy
- The advocates/litigants need not wait for a long time in the queue
- The amount collected towards Court fee in a day is automatically calculated thus saving the time of court official’s time
- Query counter avoids the litigants go around the sections to find out the Filing status
- Filing process is orderly
- Saves time and efforts of advocates and court officials
This is about providing Supreme Courts' pending case status information to litigants/advocates on any node of NICNET. COURTNIC answers about two hundred queries of litigants/advocates per day all over the country on the status of their pending cases. It is available on nominal charges. Primarily COURTNIC information is available in all NIC-High Court Computer Cells and in some District Court. It has been in use since 1993.
The response to the COURTNIC from the public is over-whelming, as pending cases information is available at his/her District headquarters. It avoids the litigants to come all over to Delhi from their place. The litigants need not find the status of their pending cases on phone as is the usual practice. Probably this facility is first of its kind in the world.
NIC has brought out Judgement Information System (JUDIS) consisting of complete text of all reported judgement of Supreme Court of India from 1950 to till Date. (http://judis.nic.in)
Supreme Court's pending Cases on IVR
Interested litigants and advocates can find out the status of their cases pending in Supreme Court on telephone by making use of Interactive Voice. Response System (IVR) free of charge. For accessing this, the phone nos. are: 011-4362062, 4360112.
Cause Lists on Internet (http://causelists.nic.in)
Causelists are scheduling of cases to be heard by the courts on the following day. The Causelists of Supreme Court and many other High Courts are available on NIC Web Servers. As the Supreme Court of India and all the 18 High Courts and their 10 Benches are fully computerised, all these courts generate Daily and Weekly Causelists from the computer servers installed by NIC. The Causelist application is the backbone application of all courts as no court can function with out that day’s Causelist. Hence this has become near time critical application in all the Courts.
Immediately after generation of the Causelist most of the courts cyclostyle the stencils cut from the printers attached to the servers for generating thousands of copies running into a few lakhs of pages every day. Due to this reason the courts take a lot of time for generation and supply of the Causelists to the advocates at their offices or residences. Usually the advocates receive the cyclostyled copies of a day’s Cause List not before 8 PM. Some High Courts send the Causelists data on floppy to the Printers for printing thousands of copies. This process costs each High Courts lakhs of Rupees every year. By making the Causelists available on Internet, no High Court is incurring any expenditure as they are using the already available infrastructure and the Software of NIC.
- It is available on Internet
- Causelists of all High Courts can be accessed at URL i.e. (http://causelists.nic.in)
- Advocates can generate their own Causelist consisting of his/her own cases
- Retrieval through the name of either petitioner or respondent
- Court wise list can be generated
- Judge wise list can be prepared
- Entire Causelist can be printed, if required
- Case no. wise access is possible
- Advocates are able to receive the Cause lists almost immediately after courts hours
- Advocate can generate their own casuists which will contain only their cases, thus avoiding them to go through hundreds of pages to locate their cases
- As the application is available on Internet, the litigant public can easily find out whether their cases are coming for hearing or not, with out bothering the advocates
- Some courts are considering to reduce the generation of copies of Causelists, as most of the advocates are dependent on the Internet version of Causelists, thus the courts can save good amount money on annual basis
NIC has made the Causelists of the following High Courts on its Web servers apart from the Supreme Court of India:
Ever since NIC has made the Causelists of the Supreme Court of India and High Courts available on Internet, this application has received huge response from the advocates and litigant public. To understand the enormous response the application has received, herewith one week’s Day wise Hit statistics are enclosed. On an average it is receiving 10,000 hits per day. By any standard, it is a significant number for one application.
For the purpose of illustration, some of the screens associated with the application are also enclosed.
High Courts Computerisation
NIC took up computerisation of all 18 High Courts and 9 Benches on the lines of Apex Court’s Computerisation. NIC implemented the List of Business Information (LOBIS) in all High Court Courts. Some of the High Courts’ Cause List are also available on Internet. Many possible applications in all High Courts have been computerised. Most of the High Courts have opened query counters along with Filing Counters for providing pending cases information to the litigants and advocates.
Facilities provided are:
- Causelists are generated automatically
- Bunching/Grouping is done
- Computer based Filing Counters are opened
- Query counters are available
- JUDIS & COURTNIC are available
- All HCs are connected on NICNET/Internet
- Day to day Judgements and Orders are stored on computers
District Courts Computerisation
In 1997, NIC took up the computerisation of all 430 District Courts in the country on the lines of High Courts Computerisation Project. The basic objectives of the project are:
- to provide transparency of information to the litigants and advocates
- to help the judicial administration in streamlining its activities
- to provide judicial and legal databases to the District Judges
NIC provided three level training programs to the District Court officials. The three levels are:
- Computer Awareness Programs for the District Judges. These training programs were chaired by either the Hon'ble Chief Justice or one of the Hon'ble Judges of the concerned High Court.
- Supervisory level training at NIC State Centres. These supervisory level officials were identified and sent to NIC State Centres by the District Courts for training on day to day maintenance of the computers and its peripherals.
- In-house hands on training to the District Court officials working on the computer terminals. The District Informatics Officers of NIC posted at the District Magistrates' Office imparted this training.
All officials have been trained on 'District Court Information System' (DCIS) SW. The DCIS Software is a huge general purpose Software package developed for the computerisation of District Courts. This software takes care of all aspects of District Court needs.
The project is yet to pickup momentum in most of the District Courts for want of interest from the District Court officials. NIC has proposed to conduct another round of Training to the users