The world is facing the harsh impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to control the spread of the virus the nations across the globe have restored to locking down all activities including the judicial systems.
Disruption in judicial activities can lead to distress in the population so the nations should resort to various other options to start hearing of urgent matters and providing online justice.
The Kerala High court used such an option which is conducting proceedings through video conferencing through which urgent matters were taken up for hearing with the law officers and concerned officers participating in the proceedings form their respective offices.
Model Of Judiciary
This template could be followed by all others courts around the country.
There should be a creation of an effective task force consisting of judges, court administrators, technologists, skill developers and system analysts to draw up a blueprint for institutionalizing online access to justice.
The task force should be given the responsibility of:
- Creating hardware, software and IT systems for courts.
- Establishing an appropriate e-filing system and procedures.
- Providing skill training to help advocates and other law officers to access the system to file their cases and add to their pleadings and documents as the case moves along.
After generating the blueprint it should be discussed with high courts across the country and they could refer it to their Rule Committee to frame appropriate rules to operationalise the e-court system.
Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987
According to the legal Services Authorities Act of 1987 the officers functioning under them all over the country can play a huge role in addressing the problem.
An effective system must be set in place for the lodging of online complaints and for ensuring accountability and effective implementation of complaints.
The local authorities and various NGOs can assist the complainant to make these online complaints to the legal services authority.
The law officers under the legal services authorities act should be authorised to hear complaints online and deliver online justice to the aggrieved party directly.