Digitization surely acts as a catalyst for most of the flourished fields to prosper further. With the digital age revolutionizing all domains including law & legal services, it is important to study its impact within our fraternity. The foregoing Indian Legal System laid more emphasis on paperwork but less on technology while the current system strives to digitize the entire legal system.
LegalDesk.com, in collaboration with iSPIRT, hosted a Conference on ‘The Digitisation of The Indian Legal System’ on Wednesday, 9th November. The event was set up at KSCA auditorium in Bangalore.
In the presence of dignitaries including Shri Prabhuling K. Navadgi Additional Solicitor General of India, Shri Kishore Mandyam Co-Founder at DAKSH Society India and Shri Sanjay Khan Nagra, Policy Expert, iSPIRT Foundation, the conference drew a huge crowd which included technology & legal professionals, law students, and the media.
Despite all the hype around digitisation in India, legal sector still lags behind other sectors. There are thousands of courts, over a million advocates, lakhs of ongoing cases and lakhs of pending cases, an ever growing population, but above all, there is a lack of information made available to the concerned parties which should be addressed. There is a pressing need to speed up the legal sector which makes it mandatory to embark on digitisation of the system.
Only scanning documents isn’t digitisation, but the emphasis should be to make information available to future generations, said Mr. Kishore Mandyam while speaking at the conference. He pointed out the need for reducing pendency of cases in the Courts. He shared some valuable insights about the technology reforms needed for the Indian Judiciary and hypothesized that Government forms have to be made available online and every single document associated with legal formalities can be made electronically available, thus promoting paperless functioning of legal system. Using case management softwares to manage cases would be beneficial, he added.
During his speech, Mandyam compared stats pertinent to legal system of India with that of the United States. He pointed out that, in India, there are 24 High Courts, 21,000-odd Lower Court Judges, while there are 50 State Supreme Courts and 37,000-odd Lower Court Judges in the U.S. While an average of 6,20,000 new cases are being added every month in India, around 7,20,000 cases are being disposed of. And currently, there are around 2.3 Crore cases pending. But in the U.S., for every 6.5 MN cases added/month, around 6.2 MN cases are being disposed, which leads to a significantly small number of cases pending which haven’t been disposed of for decades. So, at this speed, in India, it would take around 19 years to clear the pending cases, which is why it is highly important to speed up the entire system. Also, the number of average cases disposed per judge is significantly higher in U.S. compared to the same in India. Besides speeding up the process and aiding in paperless functioning, digitisation of legal system would save an estimated Rs 12,000 Crore in a year across all the Courts.
According to Mr. Navadgi, “Digitisation is the conversion of paper documents into electronic form, and Digitisation of the Legal system shall mean e-filing, e-records and a database of all case records.” He also pointed out that the process of Digitization of Legal System has already commenced.
Mr. Krupesh Bhat, Founder of LegalDesk.com, delivered a presentation on ‘Digitization of Legal System’ and threw some light on how eNotary would benefit citizens. Following this was a panel discussion by panelists Prabhuling K. Navadgi and Kishore Mandyam moderated by Sanjay Khan Nagra. Mr. Bhat insisted on the implementation of e-filing system in courts across the country, which is currently available in only a few states including Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. He also said that the judges, litigants, advocates and the registry across all courts can make use of Aadhar-based eSign, which upholds transparency in the system.
At the event, LegalDesk.com released a white paper on eNotary, which sets out a detailed framework for the proposed eNotary implementation. Here’s a glimpse of it.
To sum up, there is a pressing need for digitisation of the legal system of our nation, to start using eNotary as well as E-evidence. In this regard, the Government can collaborate with various service providers to aim towards using technology to reduce pendency of courts and suitable softwares to manage and recognise the pending cases.
No doubt, it is the citizens who would reap benefits the most with the digitisation of Indian legal system. The conference was a huge success and the findings are also remarkable. The support of speakers, participants, iSPIRT members and not to mention LegalDesk.com team, made the event a huge success.