The Committee for Computerization of High Court and Subordinate Courts, High Court Of Chhattisgarh

         Committee for Computerization of High Court and Subordinate Courts, High Court Of Chhattisgarh is a body constituted by the High Court Of Chhattisgarh to assist and monitor the work of computerization of High Court and Subordinate Judiciary and to work for the furtherance of policy formulated by e-committee, Supreme Court Of India.

         The High Court Computer Committee consists of three sitting High Court Judges out of which the senior most is the the Chairman of the Committee and other judges are the members of the Committee. The Committee monitors the various tasks related to implementation of e-Courts Project components. The High Court Computer Committee recommends and supervises various policy measures, administrative restructuring essential for ICT implementation in consultation with the e-Committee.

         Active participation, supervision and guidance of Hon’ble the Chief Justice and the Chairman & members of High Court Computer Committee ensures the successful implementation of the Project. This becomes more important in view of the effective decentralization being introduced in the Project and the High Court becoming the Implementing Agency of the Project.

    eCourts Mission Mode Project
    The eCourts Project was conceptualized on the basis of the report of “National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary 2005” submitted by e-Committee, Supreme Court of India with a vision to transform the Indian Judiciary by ICT enablement of Courts.

         The e-Courts Mission Mode Project, is a Pan-India Project, monitored and funded by Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India for the District Courts across the country.

    •  To provide efficient & time-bound citizen centric services delivery as detailed in e-Court Project Litigant’s Charter.
    •  To develop, install & implement decision support systems in courts.
    •  To automate the processes to provide transparency in accessibility of information to its stakeholders.
    •  To enhance judicial productivity, both qualitatively & quantitatively, to make the justice delivery system affordable, accessible, cost effective, predictable, reliable and transparent.

    Phase-I :
    In Phase-I of the e-Courts Project beginning from 2007 a large number of Court Complexes, Computer Server Rooms and Judicial Service Centres were operationalized for computerization of the District Courts. The District and Taluka Court Complexes covered in Phase-I were computerized with installation of hardware, LAN and Case Information Software (CIS), for providing basic case related services to the litigants and the lawyers.

         A large number of District Courts launched their websites for the convenience of the different stakeholders. The Change Management exercise was undertaken to train the Judicial Officers and Court Staff in the use of computers and Case Information System (CIS) was successfully implemented.

         The Judicial Officers were trained by the Master Trainers trained from amongst them for continuing training programme. The CIS Master trainers have trained District System Administrators (DSAs) in the use of CIS. The DSAs have trained all the Court Staff in the use of CIS. The data entry for all pending cases has reached an advanced stage of completion. The Process Re-Engineering exercise was initiated to have a fresh look on the process, procedures, systems and Court Rules in force in the different District Courts under High Courts. The Phase-I concluded with extended timelines upto 30th March 2015.

    Phase II:
    The Policy and Action Plan Document Phase-II of the ecourts8 Project, received approval of Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India on 8th January 2014. The government of India sanctioned the project on 4th August 2015. In Phase-II, the covered courts were provisioned for additional hardware with (1+3) systems per Court Room, the uncovered Courts of Phase-I and the newly established Courts with (2+6) systems per Court Room and the Court Complexes are provisioned for hardware, LAN etc.

         The dynamic implementation structure provides for greater participation and co-operation between the e-Committee and the Department of Justice(Government of India), NIC, DietY and Ministry of finance. The High Courts are Implementing Agency of the project under its jurisdiction. The Infrastructure Model provides for adopting Cloud Computing Architecture which is efficient and cost effective, while retaining the present Servers Rooms as Network Rooms and Judicial Service centers as Centralized Filing Centres. Provision has been made for computerization of office of District Legal Services Authority, Taluka Legal Services Committee, the National Judicial Academy and the State Judicial Academies for efficient delivery of services and training.

         Continuing with the implementation of Free and Open Source Solutions (FOSS), Phase-II has adopted the Core-Periphery model of Case Information
    Software, the core being Unified as National Core, while the periphery developed according to requirement of each High Court, with NIC, Pune continuing to be the Centre for Software Development and related applications, ensuring software compatibility and interoperability, both horizontally and vertically, with the data including metadata to be unified and standardized.

         In Phase-II, all the Court Complexes were connected with Jails and Desktop based Video Conferencing to go beyond routine remands and production of under-trial prisoners. It is also used for recording evidence in cases and gradually extended to cover as many types of cases as possible. With an emphasis on Capacity Building of Judicial Officers and Process Re-Engineering, the Phase-II provides Judicial Knowledge Management System including Integrated Library Management System and use of Digital Libraries.

         The Phase-II of the project laid great emphasis on service delivery to the litigants, lawyers and other stakeholders. The websites have been made Accessible Compliant and to the extent possible, the information will be available in the local languages. The applications for mobile phones , SMS and emails are extensively used as platforms for dissemination of information. Kiosk will be provided for every Court Complex. Certified copies of documents will be given online and e-Payment Gateways will be provided for making deposits, payment of court fees, fines etc. The National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) will be further improvised to facilitate more qualitative information for Courts, Government and Public.

    Role of High Courts:
    (a) Implementing Agency:

         The High Court is the Implementing Agency for implementation of the Project in the Courts under its jurisdiction. This arrangement, apart from giving the requisite authority to High Court in resolving implementation issues, also entails responsibility to have the Project components implemented on time and the service delivery initiated as per the Litigants’ Charter. For effectively implementing these objectives, the High Courts will continue to have the institutional structure as follows:

    (ii)Central Project Coordinator (CPC): The Central Project Coordinator is a person of the rank of District Judge or Senior Civil Judge, who co-ordinates the implementation of various modules/ tasks of the Project. The Central Project Coordinator have a dedicated team of identified supporting staff. The CPC coordinates with the e-Committee and the vendors, Connectivity Providers, State Data Centre, NIC-Pune team (for CIS) etc. for the implementation of all the tasks entrusted by the e-Committee. The Central Project Coordinator is associated full time and exclusively for the e-Courts Project. The responsibilities assigned to the Central Project Coordinator are quite onerous and therefore a competent and efficient officer is nominated as a Central Project Coordinator. The Computer Committee of the High Court ensures that the Central Project Coordinator adheres to the time lines and targets. Communication channels are kept open with the e-Committee at all times through that is the PPMS portal. The e-Committee accesses these websites on a daily basis. Central Project Coordinators updates the information on a weekly basis. CPC is exclusively working for computerization only and no other unrelated duty except computerisation is assigned to the CPC. Apart from the duties relating to infrastructure deployment, the CPC is also responsible for overall control of the CIS Periphery Development Team in coordination with the High Court NIC Coordinator for periphery development and its proper integration with CIS Core as per e-Committee guidelines.

    (iii)District Court Computer Committee (DCCC): The District Court Computer Committee consist of one Senior Additional District Judge and two Sr. Civil Judges or one Sr. Civil Judge, one Civil Judge along with District System Administrators and System Administrator trained during the Phase I of the Project. This Committee performs the overall monitoring of the Project implementation in the District under the overall supervision of the Principal District Judge. These Committee works in close co-ordination with the Central Project Coordinator (CPC) of the High Court. The committees undertake the various tasks detailed in the subsequent chapters, at District and Taluka/Tehsil/Sub-division levels.

    (iv)Nodal Officer for Every Court Complex: There is a Judicial Officer designated as a Nodal Officer in every Court Complex who is well conversant with ICT concepts and takes keen interest in computerization of the Courts. The Nodal Officer of the Court Complex is the point of day to day contact for the CPC of the e-Courts Project. High Court for follow up and monitoring of the Project progress and resolving the
    implementation issues.

    Vision & Objectives

    Technology must be harnessed to “Empower” and “Enable.”Technology should not merely be about the automation of conventional practices and processes but must be a vehicle for transformation. A force, which “empowers” and “enables” all citizens.

    Ensuring Access to Justice to all :
    Every individual must be provided with the means to approach a judicial institution for redress and relief unimpeded by any “digital divide” or other socio-economic challenges.

    Creating an efficient and responsive judicial system :
    Use of technology enabling the judicial system not only to provide speedy justice but the evolution of “efficiency metrics” to monitor and map the judiciary’s competencies and effectiveness.