Delhi High Court Directs Administrative Wing & Delhi Govt To Consider Digitization Of All Court Records

first_imgNews UpdatesDelhi High Court Directs Administrative Wing & Delhi Govt To Consider Digitization Of All Court Records Akshita Saxena2 March 2021 4:39 AMShare This – xThe Delhi High Court has observed that the technological infrastructure that was added to it for conducting virtual hearings during the Covid-19 pandemic must be capitalized even after resumption of physical hearings from March 15. A Division Bench comprising of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli ordered its administrative wing and the Government authorities to consider a…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Delhi High Court has observed that the technological infrastructure that was added to it for conducting virtual hearings during the Covid-19 pandemic must be capitalized even after resumption of physical hearings from March 15. A Division Bench comprising of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli ordered its administrative wing and the Government authorities to consider a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) proposed by Advocate Ankur Mahindro for digitisation all of case files in the subordinate courts and the High Court. The Bench observed that the said SOP, which sets forth several suggestions for digitisation of records including simultaneous filing of digital pleadings, will be helpful in dealing with the issue at hand. The SOP, inter alia, proposes: Increase in bandwidth of lease lines within a period of 2-3 weeks;Strict timelines be imposed on a bidder who secures the tender for digitization of judicial records;Judicial records of such matters that are likely to come up in the next two months should be given priority while digitizing so as to help in prompt functioning of courts;Scanned/digitized copies of judicial record should be made readable (OCR- Optical Character Recognition) for convenience;Bidder should also be required to impart training to Court staff on scanning, indexing, storing, archiving, retrieval and printing process;Setup counters at the filing counter(s) for the receiving of scanning charges (fixed by the Delhi High Court);Opening a filing desk where a lawyer/litigant will have the choice of filing any plaint/petition/application either in a pen drive or in paper. Based on the suggestions, the Division Bench observed, “During the Pandemic, the State also provided substantial infrastructure to enable the Courts to function through online mode. The lawyering community has also got reasonably adept at filing of cases during this period through the online/ electronic mode, and the Courts have also been proficiently taking up cases through online mode. The learning and experience derived during this period, in our view, should be capitalised upon, and apart from filing in the physical mode, the filing of digital pleadings and documents should also be encouraged. The same would save the resources, which the Court would have to otherwise deploy in digitizing the pleadings, documents, and records.” Background The direction was made in a writ petition that was initially filed seeking a direction to be issued to the District Courts to record evidence in pending matters through virtual hearings. During several hearings in the matter from time to time, the High Court passed several orders including directions passed on the administrative side for filing of cases through online mode. In June 2020, the High Court directed the Delhi Government to process the four pending items that are related to the project of digitisation/scanning of records and upgradation/enhancement of existing leased lines in the District Court Complexes within a period of two weeks under advance intimation to the High Court. In October 2020, the Court asked the Delhi Government to start with releasing funds for purchasing 20% of the pool cars required by the District Courts within three months. It observed that the proposals for providing adequate support staff including group ‘C’ staff and official vehicles for the Judges to commute to court have been pending for a long time. The matter has now been closed as the Full Court of Delhi High Court has decided to start the complete physical hearing of Cases from March 15. The order stated, “Considering the fact that Courts are resuming normal functioning from 15.03.2021, we do not see any need to keep this petition pending any further. We, therefore, dispose of this petition with a direction to the respondent/state and the Delhi High Court to examine the SOP provided by Mr. Mahindro, and take their own decisions with regard to simultaneous filing of digital pleadings/records, and digitization of pending cases, in the light of our observations hereinabove.” Case Title: Anand Vaid v. Preeti Vaid Click Here To Download Order Read OrderNext Storylast_img read more