Justice delayed is justice denied. But the Indian Judiciary is plagued with perennial litigation and long legal battles. Data revealed a whopping 2,81,25,066 civil and criminal cases were pending before the courts during the period of July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. There is a shortage of 5,000 judicial officers across the country. The state is grappling with the pendency of matters, overworked judges, overburdened court staff, chronic shortage of court space and unending wait for justice. The only weapon in the state’s arsenal to deal with this atrocious situation is “technology”. With the proliferation of automated legal tools, we are witnessing new methodologies that reduce or eliminate tedious legal tasks. Going digital seems to be the only solution to fix the logjam.
Technology is not only assisting the state in speedy disposal of cases but it is also helping the common man to access justice.
Filing a complaint is just a click away
Just like you book your movie tickets, air tickets or recharge online you can also file a legal complaint or register an FIR online. A digitalised manner of registering complaints and creating accountability was the need of the hour. Filing an FIR, a civil case, an RTI application, consumer grievance, application for document verification, licensing, etc., increased accountability of the authorities while saving a lot of hassle for a common man. Courts also provide regular case status updates through their web portals. In a recent legal development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a new website of Supreme Court of India which features an all new Integrated Case Management Information System (ICMIS). This feature also enables digital filing of cases. Under the ICMIS digital filing, an applicant is simply required to file the grounds of appeal to the Supreme Court and the system will automatically retrieve other documents pertaining to the case from the concerned High Court.
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WhatsApp and Facebook chats are now considered as evidence
Gone are the days when a conviction for an offense was based upon a person statements and traditional evidence like circumstantial clues, the weapon used in the crime etc. Courts now consider electronic evidence as an acceptable form of evidence. Recently, a trial court of Haryana convicted three law students in Sonepat for blackmailing and gang-raping a junior from their University. The conviction was done by relying on the extensive and detailed WhatsApp conversation between the rape victim and the law students.
Courts can now send summons through WhatsApp
The Delhi High Court has approved the use of technology and social networks like WhatsApp, SMS, and email to serve a summons in judicial proceedings in the matter of Tata Sons v. John Doe(s) and Ors.
You can track your case status online
Once you have filed a case you can now check the status of the case, date of next hearing, history of the orders passed by the court and everything online by clicking at http://services.ecourts.gov.in/ecourtindia_v5/. You no longer have to visit the courts or government departments to know about the developments of your case. To check the case status you need either the name of the party, case number, filing number, FIR number, Act, or case type.
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Online mediation to be a reality soon
In a recent meeting, Law Ministry’s Department of Justice deliberated on ways by which pendency of cases can be reduced in India. The center has floated the idea of introducing online mediation on the lines of “Online Consumer Mediation Centre” at NLSIU, Bangalore. The online platform with the motto “Anytime Anywhere Dispute Resolution” enables you to lodge complaints online after which it is sent to the company for effective resolution of the dispute within 30 days. Parties are free to go for mediation if negotiation fails. The platform then appoints a third party neutral arbitrator. Similarly, in the government related disputes, the complaint will be forwarded to the concerned department after it is registered with the online platform. The nodal officer or panel of officers will then be responsible for mediation and the matter would then go to arbitration if it is not resolved within 30 days.
Get Online Legal Consultation
The government has recently started “Tele-Law” services across 1000 common services centers in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to provide free legal consultation.
Lawyer Search platforms like LawRato.com are also using technology to provide a platform where you can consult lawyers at a click and get consultation online.