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Accessing Justice Online

Mains- GS-2 Governance

1. The Kerala High Court conducted proceedings through video conferencing and also live-streamed the proceedings. The judges conducted the hearing from their homes.

2. Urgent matters were taken up for hearing with the advocates concerned and law officers participating in the proceedings from their respective offices.

Model for Judiciary

1. This can be a template for other Courts to follow suit.

2. The government must establish an effective task force consisting of judges, technologists, court administrators, skill developers and system analysts to draw up a blueprint for institutionalizing online access to justice.

3. Such a task force must be charged with the responsibility of:

a.  establishing hardware, software and IT systems for courts, examining application of artificial intelligence benefiting from the database generated through e-courts projects

b. establishing appropriate e-filing systems and procedures and

c. creating skill training and recognition for paralegals to understand and to help advocates and others to access the system to file their cases and add to their pleadings and documents as the case moves along.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987

1. Many welfare schemes are laid down by Central and state governments, but without implementation and accountability, there is no justice to the aggrieved citizens.

2. The Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987 and the officers functioning under them all over the country can play a huge role in addressing this problem.

3. A system must be set in place for the applicant to lodge online complaints with the Legal Services Authorities for ensuring accountability and effective implementation.

4. The local panchayat, municipal or corporation office, or any well-intentioned NGO can assist the complainant to make these online complaints to the Legal Services Authority.

5. The officers under the Legal Services Authorities Act may be authorized to hear the complaints online and to direct delivery of redress to the aggrieved complainant.

Source: The Hindu