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eGovernment Forschung | eGovernment Research 2001 - 2017

The e-Courts Mission Mode Project of the Union Ministry of Law and Justice has remained in limbo in Jammu and Kashmir and no tangible results could be achieved despite availability of hardware in many courts. Moreover, entire expenditure incurred on purchase of video-conferencing equipment has turned out to be unfruitful for want of proper internet connectivity.

The e-Courts Integrated Mission Mode Project is one of the National e-Governance Projects being implemented for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enablement of district and subordinate courts.

The objective of the project is to provide designated services to litigants, lawyers and judiciary by providing hardware, application software and connectivity for ICT enablement of courts and video-conferencing facility between court and prison through three phases.

Under Phase-I, which was approved in the year 2007, 48 courts of seven districts of Jammu and Kashmir were identified and thereafter computers, scanners, printers, projectors and servers were purchased. However, the available hardware could not be fully utilized for filing of cases and issuance of judgments.

This can be gauged from the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. As far as filing of cases is concerned, only five out of 48 identified courts were found exclusively computerized during the audit while as in 25 courts filing of cases was found exclusively manual and in 18 courts filing of cases was found partially computerized.

None of these 48 courts were found computerized vis-à-vis caveat checking of cases, issue of check slips, preparation of summons, preparation of court diaries, warrants and notice generation, preparation of decree and delivery of decree. Similarly, only two courts were found exclusively computerized for issuance of judgments and orders while as rest of the courts were found still handling this aspect manually.

“The High Court has attributed poor implementation of e-Courts Mission Mode Project to lack of regular technical manpower and abandoning of job by the contractual workers”, the supreme audit institution of the country said.

In order to save expenditure and avoid unnecessary movement of police personnel and under trials, video conferencing was included as component of the National Policy and Action Plan for implementation of Information and Communication Technology in judiciary.

Under the Mission Mode Project, video conferencing equipments for 14 jails—Central Jails of Kot Bhalwal and Srinagar, district jails of Jammu, Kishtwar, Kathua, Poonch, Rajouri, Udhampur, Anantnag, Baramulla, Kupwara, Leh and sub-jails of Hiranagar and Reasi and 12 District Court Complexes namely Jammu, Kathua, Rajouri, Reasi, Kishtwar, Udhampur, Poonch, Srinagar, Anantnag, Kupwara, Baramulla and Leh were provided during February 2015 and October 2015.

“The video conferencing equipments were, however, not used by the Prisons and District Courts either due to non-installation or non-availability of User ID and Password and above all proper internet connectivity”, the report said, adding due to this expenditure of Rs 31.17 lakh (Rs 15.45 lakh in jails and Rs 15.72 lakh in courts) incurred on purchase of video-conferencing equipment proved unfruitful.

During the audit, non-installation of video-conferencing equipment was noticed in 7 Prisons and 2 District Courts, non-availability of user ID and Password in 9 Prisons and 4 District Courts, non-availability of internet connectivity in 10 Prisons and equal number of District Courts, non-availability of separate room/site in six Prisons and eight District Courts and non-use of video-conferencing equipment in all the identified 14 Prisons and 12 District Courts.

When asked to explain the reasons behind this dismal scenario, the High Court told the supreme audit institution of the country that equipment supplied to the courts and jails remained unused for want of reliable internet connectivity in jails. It was also stated that internet connectivity was not provided in jails though matter was taken up with the State Government a number of times.

In this way, the objective behind e-Courts Mission Mode Project could not be achieved in Jammu and Kashmir despite expenditure on purchase of hardware and equipment, the CAG has remarked in its report.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Mohinder Verma

Quelle/Source: Daily Excelsior, 22.07.2017

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