"Court is yet another service which is provided by the State to all its citizens and initiatives like e-filing and paperless courts are an important step in the decentralisation of justice," Supreme Court judge Justice D Y Chandrachud said on Saturday.
Chandrachud said e-filing of documents makes them more accessible to litigants and lawyers but urged the State government to ensure necessary digital literacy to all. The senior Supreme Court judge was speaking online during an event held here to inaugurate the e-filing, paperless court and e-office projects of the Kerala High Court.
Launching the e-filing modules for the High Court, Chandrachud, who is also chairperson of the e-committee of the Supreme Court, urged the Chief Minister to ensure that the State now makes it mandatory to provide for e-filing in all litigation which is initiated by the State. "Our initiatives today at the Kerala High Court emphasise the need to deliver e-services at the doorstep of all our citizens. In other words, the court is yet another service which is provided by the State to all its citizens. These initiatives are an important step in the decentralisation of justice," Chandrachud said.
He said e-filing reduces the burden of travel faced by the litigants and members of the bar to courts by instead allowing them to upload documents from the comfort of their homes or their offices. "However, it is important to acknowledge that not everyone may have access to the necessary technological apparatus, a high-speed internet or even the necessary digital literacy to conduct e-filing," he said.
"Kerala is a remarkable example in our country in terms of the spread of literacy and education and I do believe that hand-in-hand with the initiative which we are taking up today, we must ensure 100 per cent computer literacy between all advocates and all litigants who come to our courts seeking access to justice," Chandrachud added.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the paperless court while Chief Justice of Kerala High Court S Manikumar launched the e-office in courts. As of today, six courtrooms are fully transformed into paperless smart digital courtrooms and the High Court aims to transform every courtroom into paperless smart digital courtrooms within a couple of months.
Some of the facilities that come as part of the smart courtrooms define for itself the magnitude of improvements that they are going to bring in-case display system and the virtual hearing with hybrid facilities. Advocates/parties in person can safely attend to their cases from the comfort of their home/office with the virtual mode available through a dedicated video conference unit in the smart court. The option to attend the case either physically or virtually opens up an array of opportunities for the advocates to cater to their different cases happening in different courts on the same day without being present in each court physically.
-With PTI Inputs