Accessing justice online-THE HINDU-14-04-2020
With Indian courts too under a lockdown for three weeks , citizens have severely restricted access to justice for this period. However, the deeper malaise is the complete inability of the conventional court system to deliver timely justice. Collectively, the conventional court system appears to have heaved a frustrated sigh and dropped the challenge instead of picking up the gauntlet. Nearly 30 urgent matters were taken up for hearing, including bail applications and writ petitions, and were disposed of.
The advocates concerned and law officers also participated in the proceedings from their respective offices.
A blueprint for e-courts:
Once the blueprint is ready, the High Courts across the country may refer the same to the Rule Committee of the High Court to frame appropriate rules to operationalise the e-court system. The facility must not only enable access to courts but must provide access to justice through other processes as well. The government, both at the Centre and the States, has innumerable poverty alleviation and distress eradication schemes. If all these schemes were properly implemented, there would be very little poverty or distress in India.
Now, if all this information is provided comprehensively at the grassroots levels and made available online in as many Indian languages as possible, it could be a huge step in creating awareness. Once this happens, it follows that more and more applications will be generated.
Role of Legal Services Authorities:
While these schemes look rosy on paper, without implementation and accountability there is no justice to the aggrieved citizens. This is just one of the myriad ways in which access to justice can be enhanced exponentially while simultaneously reducing the burden on conventional courts. The other facilities that would help access to justice are online mediation, arbitration, counselling in family court matters, quick settlement of disputed insurance claims, and many more. If we can pick up the will power to do all of the above, justice will become an accessible concept to everyone.