Computerised Over 16,000 Lower Courts, More Than 51 Lakh Cases Pending In High Courts: Law Ministry
The Karnataka High Court building stands in Bengaluru, India. (Photographer: Lakshmi Samyukta/Bloomberg)

Computerised Over 16,000 Lower Courts, More Than 51 Lakh Cases Pending In High Courts: Law Ministry

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The government has completed computerisation of 16,845 district and subordinate courts, Parliament was informed on Monday.

Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad also said 51,52,921 cases were pending in high courts across the country.

In a written reply to a query in Lok Sabha, the minister said the government has released Rs 1,459.52 crore to various organisations involved in the implementation of the project.

This includes Rs 1,077.76 crore released to all high courts, out of which Rs 790.04 crore has been utilised till Aug. 31, he said.

In 2020-21 fiscal, funds have been released for eSewa Kendras in high courts and district court complexes, equipment for VC cabins and connectivity in court complexes and creating help desk counters for efiling, he said.

"As per information received from eCommittee of the Supreme Court of India, 16,845 courts have been computerised," Prasad said.

"Through computerisation of 16,845 district and subordinate courts and ICT enablement under the eCourts project phase-II, several services have been provided to litigants, lawyers and judiciary which facilitate expeditious delivery of judicial services," he said.

Details of case registration, cause list, case status, daily orders and final judgments are available to litigants and advocates through eCourts web portal, Judicial Service Centres in all computerised courts, eCourts Mobile App, email service, SMS push and SMS pull services and touch screen-based information kiosks.

Prasad said currently, all stakeholders, including judicial officers, can access case status information in respect of over 13.75 crore pending and disposed cases and more than 12.68 crore orders, judgments pertaining to these computerised courts.

Video conferencing facility has been enabled between 3,240 court complexes and 1,272 corresponding jails, the minister said.

"The eCommittee of the Supreme Court has designed and rolled out in the year 2018, an efiling system Version 1.0 and created a portal for this purpose. The portal enables electronic filing of legal papers. E-filing being the principal foundation for future technological enhancement in the Indian Judiciary, Version 1.0 is already available in high courts and district courts."

Prasad said virtual courts have been rolled out to try traffic challan cases and have met with appreciable results. Presently there are seven such courts in six states -- two in Delhi and one each in Faridabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi and Pune, he said.

"Environmentally friendly, these virtual courts enable adjudication of cases in a paperless manner with e-payment of the fine imposed.

Litigants can file complaint electronically through e-filing, appear before a judge virtually and also pay the court fees or fine online. Over 16 lakhs cases have been handled by these seven virtual courts," the minister said.

In a reply to another query, the minister said that 51,52,921 cases were pending in high courts across the country, which included 36,770,89 civil cases and 14,758,32 criminal cases.

In lower courts -- district and subordinate courts -- 3,44,73,068 cases were pending including 94,49,268 civil cases and 2,50,23,800 criminal cases.

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