Best practices of the High Court
eFiling Portal: To encourage the paperless working and facilitate the party-in-person/lawyer, eFiling facility was introduced at Allahabad High Court and Lucknow Bench in the month of August 2017. Initially efiling was started with limited Civil Jurisdiction, i.e., Company Matters, Civil Revisions and Transfer Application under Section 24 C.P.C. All the petitions, counter affidavits, rejoinder affidavits, applications and miscellaneous documents were filed through eFiling portal at the eFiling Counters established in the premises of Allahabad High Court. During COVID-19 Pandemic/Lockdown, to cope up with the emergent situation, comprehensive eFiling portal has been redesigned and launched online for all Civil/Criminal matters at Allahabad High Court and its Bench at Lucknow. The concerned Counsel / litigant are not required to come in the premises of the Court as the eFiling portal has been available on the Internet and may be accessed from anywhere. Facility for eFiling cases/ applications/ caveats by party-in-person has been added in the eFiing portal. Capturing of data with regard to crime history of a matter, i.e., S.T. Nos/ Crime Nos. has been incorporated in eFiling portal. Provision for uploading reports related with the crime history of the matter has been incorporated in eFiling portal so that these reports may be preserved with the case file in Document Management System in digital format. By the orders of Hon’ble Court, party-in-person/lawyer is required to remove the defects online or to file amendment in eFiled cases. To ensure the compliance of Court’s order, new features “Defect Removal by Court Order’ and ‘Amendment by Court Order’ have been included in eFiling portal. The concerned party-in-person/lawyer is now able to remove the defects or file the amendment online. The eFiling portal has been integrated with CIS software to enable the movement of online filed data to CIS system and capture registration numbers generated in CIS system to the eFiling portal. Total 59,758 cases, 71,813 Misc. Applications and 3,809 Caveats have been filed on eFiling portal. Further, 4040 lawyers and 1900 parties-in-person have been registered on eFiling portal till June 2021.
Authenticated copies of Digitized Case files/ Electronically filed Cases: A landmark decision to digitize old case files was taken in the year 2015 and in the following years, eCourt was started which enabled electronic filing of cases heralding a new era of Information Technology at Allahabad High Court and Its Bench at Lucknow. The next logical step was to grant authenticated copies of these digitize case files and electronically filed documents. Document Management System of digitized case files/ electronically filed cases has been linked with the eLegalix – Judgment Information System of the Court through Application Programming Interface. A new module for issuing Authenticated copies of any part of digitized case files/ electronically filed cases has been incorporated in the eLegalix system. After implementation of required enhancements and modifications, authenticated copies of digitized case files/ electronically filed cases are being issued from the Computerized Copying Section.
- Judgments/Orders are now being uploaded on NJDG.
- To create accessible legal ecosystem, features of audio captcha, dark mode, text sizing and screen reading have been enabled in the official website of the Court.
Installation of Justice Clock: The Justice Clock to display statistical data regarding institution, disposal, pendency etc. of cases in real time, has been installed at Allahabad High Court.
Video Conferencing Facility for Counsels: The parties-in-person/lawyers have been facilitated with video conferencing facility for appearance in their cases to minimize physical presence of Lawyers/ litigants in the Court room during Court proceeding, considering pandemic time of Covid – 19. JITSI Meet software is being used for video conferencing platform for virtual Court proceedings and the system has been installed on the servers running within the premises of the Court. Also, dedicated Internet Leased Line has been purchased for exclusive use of video conferencing at Allahabad and Lucknow Bench. As the Courts prepare for a greater technological infusion in its day-to-day functioning with steps such as live streaming, recording of court proceedings, transcription of testimony already in contemplation, it is imperative to choose a platform which could easily integrate and be a useful tool to achieve the above. It has been approved that the Court may shift to CISCO WebEx Suite as its main video conferencing and virtual Court platform and accordingly Webex Meeting Suite licenses have been purchased as main video conferencing virtual Court platform.
Digitization of Court records: Centre for information Technology Building (7,943.44 Sq. Mtr.) has been established for the scanning and digitization work. At present, approximately 33.68 Lacs files consisting of more than 19.98 Crores pages have been digitized and 27.21 Lacs files consisting of more than 16.25 Crores pages have been verified till date.
Wi-Fi: The entire campus of Allahabad High Court is facilitated with high speed Wi-Fi network. The lawyers/ litigants may avail several technology driven services of Allahabad High Court on their Mobile Phones viz. list of fresh cases and daily cause list, Judgments, Court wise real time based case running information, enquiry of status of cases etc.
Implementation of CIS (Case Information System) version 1.0: The High Court has successfully implemented CIS 1.0 at Allahabad. All the Courts are functioning over CIS. The process of implementation of CIS at Lucknow Bench is going on.
The official Website of the Allahabad High Court is being maintained in-house. The Mail server, Application Server, Database server etc. have been installed and the following applications are functional on it:
- Online availability of Fresh and daily Cause List of cases: The list of all the fresh and listed cases containing the information relating to a case is published on day to day basis on the website.
- Online Judgment and Copying System: The software contains several modules to facilitate drafting and publication of judgments/ orders online and issuance of authenticated copies of judgments/ orders to litigants and lawyers.
- Court wise Case Running Information System: Case information being taken up in a Court room is displayed to the lawyers/ litigants through official website and several Digital Display Boards installed at vantage points. SMS’s and emails are also being sent to stakeholders.
- Online Case Status System: The litigants/ counsel can get information relating to the status of cases from the website.
- SMS facility: The bulk SMS facility to Lawyers/ litigants is being used to provide cause list of cases containing information relating to a case viz. Case no., date of listing, serial number, Court no. etc., information with regard to clearance / defects in filled petitions/ misc. applications, information with regard to Court proceedings through video conferencing, etc. On an average approximately 50 Lakhs SMSs are being sent to the Lawyers/ litigants annually.
- Mobile Application: An android base application has been developed and is available on the official website of the Court. Apart from the usual features of judicial information like Case Status, Cause List, Judgements/ Orders, Hon’ble Judges’ details and various notifications, a unique feature namely ‘My Diary’ has been introduced to the users. It is a personalized page displaying list of cases added by a user, whether a Ld. Counsel or a common user. The basic purpose of this feature is to enable the user to have a list of cases whose status may be easily tracked without having to go through tedious and monotonous process of checking status of cases one by one. One tap on any case from the list of My Diary will automatically display the full status of the case. User has full privilege to manage list of cases.
- Vacancy Portal: The vacancies related to various Sections of the High Court is being published and monitored on the Court’s website.
- Budget: Web-based service has been initiated for budget monitoring. The service caters the need of detailed information visualization with regard to budgeting. Data flow lined in the service includes grant of budget by Government/ Other Authority, its demand and allocation plus utilization of sanctioned figures.
- Uploading of digitized case files to Supreme Court’s Server: Case files of Allahabad High Court required to be sent to the Supreme Court are now being scanned, indexed and uploaded on the server of the Supreme Court.
- Online Gate Pass: The facility of online gate pass system has been designed in such a way that a litigant may apply and can get online gate pass to make a visit to the Court room/ Chamber of advocate. The online gate pass can be downloaded into Mobile/ Tablet and has to be produces with original ID proof at the time of entrance. More than 95,589 gate passes have been issued through eGate Pass system till date.