The Supreme Court today took a giant step towards digitisation of courts across the country by launching three applications to facilitate e-filing of cases, making digital payments and service of judicial notices through smartphones to the litigants.
Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the e-committee of the apex court has launched the applications – e-courts services, E-pay and NSTEP (National Service and Tracking of Electronic Processes) – and these would pave the way of quality and speedy justice to litigants.
“This introduction of many applications paves the path of quality, quantity, affordability and cost effectiveness. And those qualities of the system matters,” the CJI said. Justice M B Lokur, who heads the e-committee, said that by using the e-courts services, the litigants and the lawyers would be able to file petitions in almost 17,000 district and ‘taluka’ courts in the country by using their computers and mobile phones. He said that e-pay would enable the litigants to pay court fees, costs imposed by courts, maintenance in matrimonial cases through digital means. He further said the court staffers, who are entrusted with the task of serving court summons and notices on litigants, would be provided smart phones and they can digitally serve them on litigants by using the NSTEP.
The NSTEP would be connected to GPRS and the judges would be able to ascertain the fact whether the court staff has visited the place to serve the summons or not. “Out of total 2.5 crore pending cases in trials courts, 20 to 30 per cent cases are pending because summons and court notices are not served on litigants,” Justice Lokur said, adding that the NSTEP application would be able to deal with this aspect effectively. He said that these software have been developed on “open source technology” and by doing this, the e-committee has been able to save Rs 1,670 crore. The CJI said that these applications would help the litigants.
“A friendly atmosphere for the litigants. We must have a friendly atmosphere so that when a litigant comes to court either technologically or through presence, he or she knows I am in a favourable and acceptable atmosphere and that matters the most,” the CJI said. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was also present at the function, referred the Digital India scheme and said the government has made a quantum progress in achieving the goal of digital inclusion by computerising courts.