Digitization is an administrative matter and falls under the domain of respective High Courts. During eCourts Phase – II, funds were not released to Allahabad High Court for digitization of court records as digitization was not a component included under Phase-II of eCourts Project. However, a sub-committee was constituted by eCommittee, Supreme Court of India for preparing a Digital Preservation Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for scanning, storage, retrieval, digitization of court records and preservation of legacy data of the judiciary. The SOP was approved in its full body meeting by eCommittee, Supreme Court of India under the chairmanship of Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud on 21st October 2022. As per the details given in SOP, 19,68,00,000 pages have been digitized by Allahabad High Court.
To make online availability of digitalized records, Department of Justice has undertaken the following initiatives as part of eCourts Project Phase II:
- 18735 District and Subordinate Courts computerized under eCourts phase-II so far.
- Case Information Software (CIS) which forms the basis for the eCourts developed by NIC on Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS).
- Citizen centric services provided through 7 platforms viz. SMS push & pull, e-mail, eCourts services portal, Judicial service Centers, Info kiosks, eCourts mobile app (total 1.64 Cr downloads till 31st January 2023) and JustIS app for judges (18,407 downloads till 31stDecember 2022).
- eFiling system version 3.0 rolled out with advanced features like e-Vakalatnama, e-signing, video recording of oath etc. Integrated with e payments module.
- Judgment Search Portal has been started for providing copies of judgments free of cost.
- NJDG developed with elastic search technology allowing access to 22.38 Cr cases and more than 20.83 Cr orders and judgments. Delay reasons added and open APIs introducedas on 01.03.2023.
The National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), is an online repository of case statistics, as a result of digitalized case records, from the High Courts and the District and Subordinate Courts of the country. It provides information relating to judicial proceedings/decisions of the computerized courts of the country. Approximately 3000 Court Complexes replicate live data of filing, registration, scrutiny, objections, case status, cause list, judgment and orders on real-time basis. Case data is available on NJDG for both civil and criminal cases with the ability to perform drill-down analysis based on the age of the case as well as the State and District. As per the information available on Supreme Court website, Judgement records can be searched online with the following parameters – Case No., Diary No., Judgment Date, Judge Name, Parties, Act-wise, Const. Bench and Free Text.
NJDG works as a monitoring tool to identify, manage & reduce pendency of cases. It helps to provide timely inputs for making policy decisions to reduce delays in disposing of cases and helps in reducing case pendency. To track cases related to land disputes, Land Records data of 26 States have been linked with NJDG. In consonance with the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) announced by the Government of India, Open Application Programming Interface (API) has been provided to the Central & State Government to allow easy access to the NJDG data using a departmental ID and access key. Recently, reasons for delay have been included in NJDG.
This information was given by the Union Minister of Law & Justice, Shri Kiren Rijiju, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.