The government on Thursday gave a final push to a Rs 442 crore project to computerise district and subordinate courts to speed up the judicial process and enhance transparency.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a proposal to task the public sector National Informatics Centre, to implement the first phase of the project covering nearly 13,000 courts across the country. The second and third phases will cost Rs 225 crore and Rs 174 crore.
This will involve development of infrastructure, training judicial officers and staff and development of the Local Area Network.
An official spokesman said the project would enhance judicial productivity, both qualitatively as also making the justice-delivery system affordable, accessible, cost-effective, transparent and accountable, he said.
The venture would facilitate judges in their day-to-day functioning as also litigants to access court orders, judgments and statements of witnesses without going to the clerks.
Finance minister P Chidambaram said it would also facilitate the monitoring agency to obtain verifiable data for analysis and further reform in the judicial process, cut down process-time and costs and also video-conferencing with outstation witnesses and under trial prisoners.
The Supreme Court had led the way in demonstrating how to leverage information technology to reduce pendency; the improved case management that followed computerisation reduced Supreme Court's arrears from 1.05 lakh cases in 1991 to 29,315 cases in July 2004.