Its Time To Step Towards Virtual Courts: Its Needs And Challenges In India
Yatho Dharma Thatho Jaya: Where there is justice, there is victory.
The judiciary takes a prominent role in every democratic country. The meaning of democracy is vague without an independent and propound judiciary. The judiciary endorses to maintain check and balance between the executive and legislative.
As we all know, India is the greatest democratic country in the world. How far the system of judiciary is successful? This is a crucial question in the India context. As per the DAKSH report, 85 percentages of the cases, which are filled in different courts of India, take 10- 12 years for its final deliberation of justice. Around 3 cores of the cases are pending in different courts in our country. Alone in the Supreme Court the pending number of cases is around 65,000.
As per the above-mentioned facts and figures, it’s quite clear that the India judiciary is not in a prominent position. Besides all this, some pandemic situation like (COVID 19) makes the system more aggravate. To avoid all these, India may take an alternative to maintain its judicial system more successful.
VIRTUAL JUDICIARY/ E- COURTS
Our attitude towards the court system has been developed in such a way that, when the word judiciary comes to our mind, we starts to create the image of courtrooms in our mind.
Virtual Judiciary is another form of deliration of justice without any physical existence of the court room. The virtual court is a concept, where it eliminates the presence of lawyers in the courtroom and the cases are adjudicated online by the use of technology.
VIRTUAL COURTS SYSTEM IN INDIAN (PRESENT SITUATION)
In the present time, the pandemic (COVID-19) has created an ominous situation. Due to the nation wise lockdown, the courts are remained closed for last 3 months. It has a great loss to the Indian judiciary. So, to avoid more pendency of cases and proper deliration of justice the Supreme Court has ordered to every High Court of their respective states to continue the court proceedings by the use of technology as per article 142 of the Indian constitution. (plenary power of the court).
In India, 90 percentages of the courts are technologically deteriorated. But in some of the court the concept of the virtual court is working seamlessly. For example- Delhi High court and Bombay High court.
Delhi High Court-There is sufficient technological manpower available in Delhi High court. The e-filing system is mandatory in Delhi High court for the matters of taxation, arbitration, and company-related matters.
Bombay High court– The system of e-court is working in the Bombay High court from 2013. Similarly, they are taking the company, conciliation, income tax, and taxation matters into consideration through the e-court system.
Recently India has conceptualized an e- Court project based on the National policy and action plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ITC) in the Indian judiciary, 2005. The main objective of this system to make the judiciary smoother and more flexible.
NEEDS AND ADVANTAGES.
Looking towards the present pandemic the construction of the Indian judicial system is adjourned sine die. Maybe this pandemic COVID-19 promulgate to adopt the virtual court system but besides this, there are so many other factors and needs for adapting the virtual court system in India. They are as follows.
- Speedy Justice- As we all know that more than 3 cores of cases are pending in different courts throughout the country. So, the virtual court system can make an unravelling in solving the problem which has been chronic in the Indian judiciary from a very long time.
- Low and effective cost- Sometimes people afraid to take the help of court for the achievement of justice due to their economical hurdles. This is such a system, which can be afforded by any people belongs to any class of the society.
- Making the judiciary more transparent– It takes a prominent role to make the judiciary more accountable and responsible. Corruption and bribe-taking system can be clogged through the concept of virtual judiciary.
- Flexible in storing of information– As the number of cases is increasing day by day. So, it’s very difficult to maintain all the records of the all cases in the court. Through this system, all documents can be stored on devices seamlessly.
As we all know every coin has 2 sides. Similarly, there are some hurdles for the adoption of the e-court system in the Indian context. They are as follows.
- Lack of technical knowledge– Ninety percentages of the legal practitioner are unaware of technological knowledge. Without this skill, it is very hard to maintain the e-court system.
- Security– In the matter of technology, cybersecurity should be the greatest concern. There is a chance of theft of confidential documents by hackers. We should be careful about it.
- Infrastructure– The non-availability of the proper electronic connection and infrastructure also creates hurdles for the implementation of the concept of a virtual system of the judiciary in all the courts.
- Cases concerned with serious matters– The virtual court system is not sweet able for all types of cases. Meaning here by, the cases related to higher gravity of punishment and more critical cases can not be solved by the e-court. It’s because it needs more clarification and proper inquiry.
A WAY FORWARD-
Every resolution is the result of problems. In the present world of globalization, we need to change our attitude and way of working towards the Indian judiciary to make the system more translucent and flexible. By adopting the system of virtual court, 70 percentages of the cases can be solved without attaining the court physically. It will create a desirable faith in the heart of every Indian to have a speedy and affordable justice. It will also help to replace some of the stereotypes regarding the Indian judiciary.
To solve the aforementioned challenges, firstly we have to make a policy for the implementation of the e-court system in every court throughout the country. The government should take apposite steps to develop the technological skills in litigant and a legal practitioner for their technological advancement. The adaptation of the virtual judiciary is a mechanism for making the judicial system more renovate. The present pandemic (COVID-19) has made us to stand on the shoe of the virtual judiciary system for the fulfilment of the present need of the society.
Article 14 and Article 21 of the Indian constitution talk about the right to equality and right to life respectively. In this context adaptation of the virtual court or e-court system is more important for speedy justice. It’s better to give all the needy (who are waiting for justice) the real taste for rule of law, rather than allowed things to governed by the rule of law.
– ASHUTOSH NATH
2nd YEAR, BA LL. B,
SYMBIOSIS LAW SCHOOL HYDERABAD,
 DAKSH REPORT 2019.
 Vital Stats Pendency of cases in the judiciary, PRS Legislative Research (“PRS”) available at- https://www.prsindia.org/policy/vital-stats/pendency-cases-judiciary
 INDIAN CONST. art 142.
 K. Subramanian, the epidemic and ensuring safety in courts, THE HINDU, MAY 11, 2020. AT- 06
 R. Anand and V. Ranganathan, It’s time for a virtual judiciary, THE HINDU, MAY 6, 2020. at-07
 Dr. Setlur B. N. Prakash, E Judiciary: a Step towards Modernization in Indian Legal System, Journal of Education & Social Policy, 2014.
 INDIAN CONST. art 14
 INDIAN CONST. art 15