E-COURTSDURING PANDEMIC:

 

THE MIX OF TRADITION AND TECHNOLOGY

Tougher situation gives birth to exclusive innovations

-Anonymous

 

The pandemic has hit the world disastrously whereby the traditional justice system has shaken off. Traditional Courts had been shut down due to the COVID-19 crisis and replaced by E-Courtsbecause delivering justice is of prime concern. E-Courts are a result of mixing traditional court witha technological background whereby delivering justice happens through an online mechanism, and in a  paperlessmanner.

Article 142 of the Indian Constitution gave the Supreme Court plenary powers to guide High Courts to outline an instrument for utilization of innovation during the COVID crisis.

       

 [i]Supreme Court of India has ordered that only matters of urgency would be taken into account and heard thereof. In the pandemic situation, lawyer’s chambers were sealed down and courts were closed off

       

 [ii]. Video conferences have been an instrument in the extremely tough situations for case hearing in various courts in India. An E-Court project is adopted in India wherebygovernment information states 3,240 court

       

 [iii] edifices are empowered with the video conferencing offices under the E-Courts venture. The importance of e-filing is reflected by CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde to be the effective step for e-courts operations in the country

       

 [iv]Positive highlights of E-Courts are that information is easily accessible from any place because the system works digitally and easy accessibility of the justice system. Additional advantages for attorneys are that document filling turns easier and witness security is highly maintained. Court management procedure becomes better through technology-based courts. Maintenance of a transparent legal system,and less overcrowding occurs through this system

[v].The sharing of legal information and data between various courts present in India becomes must efficient.We need to remember that environment is an important factor and thus, being a paperless court, saving paper which directly leads to decrease deforestation occurs which is a good initiative. A lot of cases are pending in the Courts, the new technology saves a lot of travel time to traditional courts and speeds up the process of delivering justice.

Along with positive points, E-Courts have their negative sides to reflect upon out of which presentation of digital evidence

         

 [vi] and acquaintances with technology to operate e-court remains the topmost. Not everyone throughout the country is versed with paperless court and digital methods. During the pandemic, the lower courts are suffering because they don’t have a proper digital setup. Filling electronic method-based cases is filled with complexities. Confidentiality issues of a case maybe at stake because e-courts involve the use of the internet wherein hacking is possible.

Conclusion

Though E-Court ensures easier accessibility and well-established accountability, it is really difficult for some people who are not versed with technology and the use of the internet. Leaving the factor of the internet connectivity, a group of people doesn’t have mobile or laptop which are minimal needs to access E-Courts. Improving the infrastructural quality of district courts is necessary for carrying on functions of E-Courts.Maintenance of proper vigilance of cyber security for the E-Courts is very important. Computer literacy centers must be set up where people would learn the operation procedures of a computer and internet- the pillars of E-Courts. Training the legal fraternity and holding seminars for advocated could make the electronic courts more effective.

 

 

 

 

 

SHYANTIKA KHAN

AMITY UNIVERSITY, KOLKATA

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