|(a) whether the e-Courts project has made significant progress, if so, the details thereof and the current status of the project along with the funds released and utilised for the same.;|
(b) whether the Government has approved second phase of e-Courts mission mode project recently and if so, the objectives, estimated cost and specific targets set under the Project ;
(c) the steps taken for ICT enablement of district and subordinate courts of the country and the details of number of electronic transactions, transacted under e-Courts Project;
(d) the steps taken in order to provide efficient and time-bound access to the court services to litigant public, who are on the other side of the digital divide and don’t have access to internet;
(e) whether the Government has decided to deliver e-Courts services through around 2 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) and if so, the details thereof; and
(f) whether the Government has launched Automated Mailing Service for the benefit of litigants and lawyers and if so, the details thereof?
MINISTER OF STATE FOR LAW & JUSTICE AND
(SHRI P. P. CHAUDHARY)
(a) to (c) : Yes, Madam. The eCourts project has made significant progress under the guidance of e-Committee of Supreme Court of India in computerizing district and subordinate courts of the country and the Government has also approved the second phase of eCourts Mission Mode Project. The steps being taken by the Government to promote the use of technology in the working of the courts through computerisation of district and subordinate courts are as under:
(i) The eCourts Mission Mode Project Phase-I was implemented till 2015. At the end of Phase-I, out of the total target of computerisation of 14,249 district and subordinate courts, sites for all 14,249 courts (100%) were made ready for computerisation, out of which LAN was installed at 13,643 courts, hardware was provided in 13,436 courts and software was installed in 13,672 courts. Laptops were provided to 14,309 judicial officers and change management exercise was completed in all the High Courts. Over 14,000 Judicial Officers were trained in the use of UBUNTU-Linux Operating System and more than 4,000 court staff have been trained as System Administrators in Case Information System (CIS). Video Conferencing facility was operationalised between 488 court complexes and 342 corresponding jails.
(ii) The eCourts Mission Mode Project Phase-II is being implemented for a period of four years (2015-19) or until the project is completed, whichever is later. The objective of the project is to provide designated services to litigants, lawyers and the judiciary through ICT enablement of courts. Against the financial outlay of Rs.1670 crores in the second phase, Rs.1,154.66 crores have been released, including Rs.931.3 crores to High Courts. Rs.632.3 crore have been utilised by the High Courts. The target set out under the project are 14249 courts covered under the first phase, 4013 new courts and 1738 expected courts, totalling 20,000 courts.
(iii) The eCourts Project equips the Judiciary to use ICT enabled tools to improve court and case management. The availability of online database enables judiciary to plan court administration. It leads to making the justice delivery system across the country more transparent, more accessible and affordable. Availability of case data online imparts transparency to the functioning of courts and facilitates easy access of such data to lawyers and litigants. Thus, ICT enablement of courts increases efficiency of justice delivery system through organised and easy access to case information, and transparency is the eventual outcome.
(iv) As per information received from eCommittee of Supreme Court of India, 16,845 courts have been computerized till date. The High Court wise details of such district and subordinate courts are as Annexure I.
(v) All the district and subordinate courts computerized under eCourts project have been linked to National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), which is a common repository of case records across the country. The portal also provides online information to citizens including 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 11.04 crore cases.
(vi) ECourts mobile app with the facility of QR Code was launched on 22.07.2017 for use of litigants and lawyers. Services under different captions viz. Search by CNR, Case Status, Cause List and My Cases are available on this application. The application can be downloaded both from Google Play or Apple Store.
(vii) Furthermore, the facility of providing case information services through SMS has also been implemented and the process of disseminating system-generated SMSs is operational.
(viii) One of the important eCourts project components is establishment of Wide Area Network (WAN) connecting all District and Subordinate court complexes, spread across the country. The eCommittee of Supreme Court of India gave approval to award the eCourts’ WAN project to BSNL. Work order to the tune of Rs. 169 crores has been awarded to BSNL for establishing Wide Area Network (WAN) connecting 2992 district and subordinate court complexes across the country, including 547 court complexes with no connectivity. National Informatics Centre has operationalised an online monitoring tool for tracking real-time progress and monitoring of pan – Indian WAN project against the set baselines. Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) has already been laid at 2385 court complexes so far, out of 2992 project locations.
(ix) During the Phase II, till date, 174.47 crore electronic transactions have been recorded for eCourts through eTaal portal.
(d) and (e): Yes, Madam. The Government has decided to deliver e-Courts Services through Common Service Centre (CSCs), in order to provide efficient and time bound access of eCourts Services to litigant public, who are on the other side of the digital divide and don’t have access to internet. Integration of eCourts Services through Common Service Centers (CSC) has successfully been completed and this has enabled the eCourt Service through Digital Seva Portal in all Common Service Center (CSC) locations across the country. The collaboration with Common Service Centers would thus mean that litigants can access easily, and readily case status information available on eCourts database from any CSC.
(f): Yes, Madam. Government has launched Automated Mailing Service for the benefit of litigants and lawyers and has been made operational for all the district and subordinate courts in the country. Cause lists, case status etc. can be received in the litigants’ mailbox on registration of email address with the respective courts under the eCourts Project through emailing service. During the second phase (2015-19) till date, a total of 7.20 crores emails have been sent.
S. No. Name of the High Court Number of computerised district and subordinate courts
1. Allahabad 2,072
2. Andhra Pradesh & Telangana 1,078
3. Bombay 2,079
4. Calcutta 811
5. Chhattisgarh 357
6. Delhi 427
7. Gauhati 496
8. Gujarat 1,108
9. Himachal Pradesh 119
10. Jammu And Kashmir 218
11. Jharkhand 351
12. Karnataka 897
13. Kerala 486
14. Madras 1,032
15. Madhya Pradesh 1,293
16. Manipur 37
17. Meghalaya 39
18. Orissa 534
19. Patna 1,025
20. Punjab And Haryana 1,018
21. Rajasthan 1,094
22. Sikkim 19
23. Uttarakhand 186
24. Tripura 69