Digital filing in SC to be manipulation free: CJI
Digital filing of cases would make the judicial system "extremely transparent" and rule out any manipulation of records, Chief Justice of India (CJI) J S Khehar said on Wednesday.
Introducing the 'Integrated Case Management Information System' of digital filing process in the apex court, the CJI said he intended to put the system in place in all the 24 high courts after it is introduced here and would like to see that it takes place in the lower courts across the country.
The Chief Justice of India was speaking at a function attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and a large number of judges from the SC and High Courts and senior lawyers.
At the event, the Prime Minister uploaded 'Integrated Case Management Information System' on the Supreme Court website at the function held at Vigyan Bhavan here.
"I propose to take this system to all the High Courts and then to all the district courts. This means a litigant will file one case only in his lifetime, insofar as the paper book is concerned," Justice Khehar said. "This is a process which will ensure absolutely a transparent system. A system which cannot be breached. A system where the documents cannot be manipulated. A system where the records are there for keeps ...And for doing this, we do not need to change any rules. This digitised process replaces the pleadings," he said.
Referring to his observations made during a hearing that he would make the Supreme Court "paperless", the CJI said the system would be different from the present e-filing process as lawyers will be required to file only the grounds of appeal in the apex court and the remaining judicial files would be automatically transferred.
"This programme is the resource from the database which exists. So if you are filing an appeal in the Supreme Court from a case in the High Court, all you need to do is to put in the number of the case you are filing.
"And besides that, you have to file the grounds. As soon as you file the grounds, the entire paper book of the High Court gets transferred to the Supreme Court. So the paperwork of the Supreme Court is finished. It is replaced by the grounds of appeal," the CJI said.
Justice Khehar said the move would be of "great environmental help as well" as it would lessen the use of paper.
Addressing the programme titled 'Moving towards, security and transparency from a paper court, to a digital court', he said all parties in the High Courts would be automatically informed and they can download the grounds of appeals challenging the orders. The new digitised system would ensure that the litigants come to know the exact cost of filing, besides the date of filing the appeals in the Supreme Court, and nobody would be able to "manipulate" records initially filed and "nobody can lie" that he has already filed them, Justice Khehar said.