SPEECH OF HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VIJENDER JAIN, CHIEF JUSTICE, PUNJAB AND
HARYANA HIGH COURT CHANDIGARH ON THE OCCASION OF LAUNCH OF E-COURTS
PROJECTS IN THE STATE OF PUNJAB; HARYANA AND U.T.
My esteemed colleagues; Mr. Lalit Sharma, Advisor to the
Administrator, U.T.; Shri Hawa Singh Hooda, Advocate General, Haryana;
Shri H.S.Mattewal, Advocate General, Punjab' Judicial Officers; Trainee
Judicial Officers and friends from the media.
Today is a momentous day for all of us. From today, the first
phase of e-courts project will start to unfold. I trust, you are aware of
the fact that on the initiative of Hon'ble Chief Justice of India, the
Government of India has set up a committee, popularly known as
e-committee, to assist him in formulating a national policy on
computerization of Indian judiciary and advising him on technological;
communication and management related reforms. To be implemented in three
phases spread over a period of five years, the project would cost Rs. 854
crore. Digital inter-connectivity would be established between all courts
from the Taluka level to the Apex Court.
The other features in the first phase is the creation of a
well-structured database of all the stakeholders, courts and cases with
user-friendly retrievable facilities as well as digital archiving of the
Supreme Court and High Courts. The project also aims at creation of
e-filing facility in the SC and HCs.
The first phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of the
current financial year, as a result of which there would be improvement in
the capacity building of judges for delivery of speedy and quality
Phase two would also be completed in the next two years,
following which it would be possible to provide Information and
Communication Technology (ICT) coverage of judicial processes from filing
to execution level- and also of all administrative activities.
The third and final phase would be of one year duration. It
would lead to the creation of Information Gateways between courts and
public agencies and departments.
The ICT components which are to be introduced in the Indian
Judiciary during this period would be the creation of computer rooms and
judicial service centres in all the approximately 2500 court complexes ;
15,000 laptops will be provided to Judicial Officers; extensive ICT
training will be given to Judicial Officers and court staff; digital
signatures and wi-fi facilities will be introduced in Supreme Court and
High Court; state of the art video conferencing facility will be provided
at the Supreme Court, High Court and District Courts. Many other
facilities such as extensive re-engineering of processes will become
effective etc. etc.
Needless to mention, our justicing process is not
in a very happy
state on account of mounting arrears and long delays. Indian judiciary
comprises nearly 13,246 courts located in 2,909 court complexes located in
2,268 towns throughout the country. As on May 31, 2007, there were
2,45,94,942 cases pending in our District and Subordinate Courts
throughout India. Though, efforts for computerization of some of our
processes have been going on since 1990 but not much was done. I am glad
that the Government has become out with this ambitious plan to blend
information technology with the justicing process.
We may be lagging behind but I am confident that soon
we would take the lead in the field. To mark the launching of the first
phase of e-courts project, we in the High Court have received laptops for
all the Judicial Officers and they would be made available to each one of
you very shortly. I have today handed over laptops to our Judicial
Officers . Let me tell you that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I, in
the High Court, am committed to providing all the latest electronic gadgets
and peripherals to all of our officers working in the subordinate
judiciary. It goes without saying that a common litigant has first brush
with our judicial system when he approaches the court of a Magistrate. Out
of lakhs of cases filed in our subordinate courts, very few come up before
us in the High Court. It is, therefore, necessary that an officer who is
working at the grass-root level, is provided with all the infrastructure
so that he may provide qualitative justice to the ultimate consumer of
justice, namely, the litigant. I am of the view that these laptops
would come up in handy for all of our officers to provide efficient and
speedy justice to our litigants.
I wish to utilize this opportunity to inform
you that our fudges of the computer committee in the High Court are making
concerted efforts to utilize information technology for providing valuable
information to the lawyers and litigants. Just now, Mr. Justice Hemant
Gupta informed you that we have installed some servers in the High Court.
Our final judgments are now available on the internet immediately after
they are signed by the Hon'ble judges.
Our officers in the High Court are working to provide daily
interim orders in all the cases on the net and very shortly they would be
available to the litigants and lawyers. We have also a plan to provide
digital boards outside the courts and to provide digitally signed copies
of the judgments. I am also seriously considering digitization of old
records. This will save us a lot of space. It will also help us to
retrieve the information in respect of old cases at the click of mouse.
For lawyers and litigants also, it would become easier to get hold of old
records. The digitally signed orders and judgments would also reduce
the scope of perjury and corruption.
On this historic and momentous days, I wish all my Judicial
Officers a very happy and prosperous career and thank all the
distinguished guests and friends from the media for taking time off to
share with us our happy moments.