Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Judicial Reforms Are Urgently Required In India

India is in emergent need to adopt judicial reform as public trust and confidence in Indian judiciary is at its nadir. E-Courts have the potential to remove the mammoth backlog of cases existing in India but India does not have expert individuals and firms to implement this ambitious project.

Judicial reforms in India have become the pressing need of the hour. This is so because the huge backlog of cases is increasing on the one hand and the efficiency of the courts is decreasing on the other. This is happening because the numbers of judicial officers are much shorter than the required strength. If there is not an urgent, immediate and holistic judicial reforms drive in India, the judicial system of India is going to collapse.

Here lies the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) for rejuvenating the dying judicial system of India. ICT can provide the most viable solution of e-courts in India for reducing the backlog of cases.

E-Courts in India have tremendous potential to reduce the backlog of cases. However, establishment and implementation of e-courts requires techno-legal expertise that is presently missing in India. As a result e-courts projects in India always failed from time to time.

Ironically India has very few e-courts experts who can really give Indian e-courts project a shape. However, till now neither the Indian government nor the Supreme Court e-court committee has seriously though about taking help of the experts in this regard.

Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and the Leading Techno-Legal Specialist of India is of the opinion that we nee pro-active role on the part of government as well as e-court project management team to successfully implement the same. He maintains that the backlog of cases would ultimate crush the legal and judicial system of India if a timely action is not taken immediately. Establishment of timely e-courts is a good option in this regard according to him.

Even on the legislative side as well India is lacking far behind. India has the sole cyber law in the form of information technology act, 2000. The same is inadequate on many counts and cannot accommodate the requisites of e-courts in India. Further issues of cyber forensics and cyber security would also impede the e-courts projects in India. The national e-governance plan must also be suitably reformulated in his regard. The government must act immediately to get the desired results.

Finally, judicial reforms are a “collective task” that cannot be achieved by any single player. The government of India must come up with an expert committee or working group in this regard so that the collective expertise of various experts can be taken at the earliest possible occasion. However, the government of India must act fast before it is too late to do anything.