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Source: The post is based on the article “Cabinet approves eCourts Phase III for 4 years” published in PIB on 14th September 2023
What is the News?
The Union Cabinet has approved the eCourts Project Phase III.
What is eCourts Project?
Phase I of the project was implemented during 2011-2015.
Phase II of the project started in 2015 under which 18,735 District & Subordinate courts have been computerized so far.
What is the aim of eCourts Project Phase III?
Type: Central Sector Scheme
Aim: To create a unified technology platform for the judiciary which will provide a seamless and paperless interface between courts, litigants, and other stakeholders.
Duration: Four Years (2023 onwards)
Key Features of the project: Phase 3 of the eCourts project will see:
Digitisation of entire court records, both legacy and pending cases.
A tripartite agreement will be signed between State governments, the Centre and the 25 High Courts under which maintenance, upkeep, and replacement of equipment will be the responsibility of respective States while the funds and the required hardware will be provided by the Centre.
Establishment and expanding the scope of virtual courts for hearing of cases by creating a robust digital infrastructure.
Integration of duty holders such as courts, jails, police stations, and forensic laboratories with the InterOperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS).
Add Artificial Intelligence into the judicial system and introduce features like Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for analysis of case pendency and forecasting future litigation as well.
Citizens who do not have access to technology can access judicial services from eSewa Kendras, thus bridging the digital divide.
What are the expected benefits of eCourts Project Phase III?
Judicial processes will become more environment-friendly by minimizing paper-based filings and reducing the physical movement of documents.
Virtual participation in the court proceedings will help in reducing costs associated with court proceedings such as travel expenses for witnesses, judges, and other stakeholders.
Expansion of eFiling will reduce the time and effort required to file documents thereby minimizing human errors.
Enhanced accuracy and transparency in court proceedings