Live Streaming Of Court Proceedings Soon, Says Justice Chandrachud
Media outside the Supreme Court during a verdict in New Delhi. (Source: PTI)

Live Streaming Of Court Proceedings Soon, Says Justice Chandrachud

Live streaming of court proceedings across the country could be a reality soon as the eCommittee of the Supreme Court is close to finalising rules for the same.

The eCommittee is on the anvil of finalising rules for live streaming proceedings, said Justice DY Chandrachud, chairperson of the eCommittee of the Supreme Court on Friday. We are in the process of finalising the rules for live streaming proceedings, he said during the unveiling of the e-filing 3.0 module.

The e-filing 3.0 module, introduced by the eCommittee of the Supreme Court, allows electronic filing of court documents. It was launched alongside a new judgment search portal that will allow online search of all high court judgments.

Key Features of E-Filing 3.0

With the introduction of the new module, there will be no need for lawyers or clients to visit the court premises for filing of a case. The filing process can take place even when the court, client and lawyer are at three different locations.

The e-filing portal aims to aid in the work of the lawyers by:

  • Providing readymade templates for drafting. The templates can help advocates in quickly drafting their pleadings. These pleadings can be uploaded and shared with the clients who can e-sign them from their homes.
  • The new module will allow a litigant submitting the documents to video record their oath.
  • The portal will let lawyers add their colleagues and juniors as partners and allow all of them to work on a case collectively.
  • The portal will provide a portfolio management and case planner tool which will help track developments across respective cases.
For instance, a bank manager is located in Agra, the advocate is based in Lucknow but the case it to be filed in Gorakhpur. All three can collaborate on the e-filing 3.0 module which is being created by the NIC to ensure they can collaborate and represent their case.
Justice DY Chandrachud, Chairperson, Supreme Court eCommittee
Unveiling of the e-filing 3.0 module by the eCommittee of the Supreme Court 
YouTube streaming link of the unveiling event 

The top court has recently made efforts to ease the process of filing, listing and hearing of matters.

These are quantum changes that are being proposed that will radically alter the manner and mode of virtual hearings in the near future, said Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court Vipin Nair.

The e-filing portal seems promising and has additional features for practice management as an alternative to similar privately owned tools, said Advocate Vikram Hegde who is Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India.

I am a little hesitant about using it to communicate with my clients. Client attorney communications are privileged and confidential. I would not use this platform as an interface to interact with clients until I have complete confidence that the information shared on it is secure. Apart from my own concerns, it would also be necessary for the clients to feel secure or else they may not share all the information with me as they ought to.
Advocate Vikram Hegde 

A pilot project using the module is underway in Maharashtra, Justice Chandrachud said.

The top court‘s eCommittee also introduced a new portal to enable people to search for court judgments across the country. This will include a search option based on various parameters such as name of the judge, case number, acts, sections, name of parties, decision date and disposal nature.

A free text judgment search option will also provide an option for those lawyers who may not be able to afford paid propriety software, said Justice Chandrachud.

Unveiling of the judgment search portal by the Supreme Court eCommittee
YouTube streaming link of the unveiling event 

According to Hegde, the vision of e-filing envisaged by former Chief Justice of India J.S Khehar was one where an appellant had to only file the grounds of appeal in a case and the case number and other documents would be procured automatically from the High Court. While that seems a long way away, I think it is a useful goal to have, Hegde said.

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