Saturday, December 5, 2009

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) Project Of India

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) Project (CCTNS Project) has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. It has a financial cushion of Rs.2000 Crores as per the 11th Five Year Plan.

The Project would be initiated by the Ministry of Home Affairs and implemented by the National Crime Records Bureau. The CCTNS project is to be implemented in a manner where the major role would lie with the State Governments in order to bring in the requisite stakes, ownership and commitment, and only certain core components would be in the hands of the Central Government, apart from the required review and monitoring of project implementation on a continuing basis.

According to Praveen Dalal, the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India and Managing Partner of Perry4Law, “CCTNS Project is a complicated and time consuming initiative. It must be preceded by suitable “Policy Framework” as well as by “Adequate Techno-Legal Training” of the persons going to manage the same”.

CCTNS Project needs “Techno-Legal Training” to succeed. The stakes are high so must be the training and development standards.

Judicial And Legal Reforms 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. There is an emergent need to not only bring transparency and fairness in the judicial dealings in India but also to train and make the judicial officers more competent and up to date. It is high time to do something lest people of India loose their faith in Indian judiciary absolutely.

A blue print of the National Mission for Delivery of Justice and Legal Reforms (NMDJLR) has been recently released by the Law Minister M Veerappa Moily. 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.

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.

Fortunately, the NMDJLR Plan has many good suggestion that if implemented would be very beneficial for the judicial and legal reforms in India. The problem seems to be lack of “techno-legal expertise” in this regard. India has been evading establishing e-courts since 2003. Even today we come across various media reports claiming establishment of e-courts in India. The mechanism of e-courts facilitates the filing of applications, arguments through the electronic mode, submission of documents and evidence using ICT, etc. Till now none of the essential features of e-courts have been utilised in India.

The NMDJLR Plan has appreciated some of the prerequisites of e-courts and mentioned them in its document. They have to be complied with if we have to establish real and effective e-courts in India. Only time will tell whether the NMDJLR Plan would die in the absence of political will and techno-legal expertise or the government of India would actively use the techno-legal services of world renowned firms like Perry4Law to accomplish it.