The Delhi High Court recently opined that the authorities were being "extremely vigilant" when it came to addressing the issues with lower court websites while disposing of a petition pointing out several inadequacies of these sites.
Interestingly, the observations were made by a Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar a day before the Supreme Court website was hacked. The SC website is still not fully functional even after a week since the hacking.
The Court was hearing a Petition filed by one Mr. Shailendra Bhatnagar highlighting that the Delhi District Courts website does not contain necessary ongoing court information such as cause list; daily orders; case status, judgments, and information about judges being on leave/training etc.
While noting that the Petition was "hopelessly vague", the Court did take up the issue opining that all necessary information should be easily accessible to the lawyers and the litigants. It "scrutinized" the website of the Delhi District Courts in the courtroom as well, using a screen and a projector.
During the hearing, Metropolitan Magistrate Mr. Abhilash Malhotra, who is a member of the Centralized Computerization Committee as well as Website Committee of the Tis Hazari Courts, was also present. Mr. Malhotra, along with an officer from the National Informatics Centre (NIC), explained to the Court the steps which were being taken to ensure efficient operation of the National Judicial Data Grid at all levels.
The Court was further informed that the latest software had been purchased and that every possible effort was being put in to resolve any issues that may plague the existing system. Besides, the decision of the Centralized Computerization Committee to include Mr. Bhatnagar in its deliberations was placed before the Court.
Satisfied with the response received, the Court then disposed of the Petition, observing, "In view of the above, it appears that all concerned authorities are extremely vigilant about the imperative needs to ensure an effective and responsive interface so that everyone could have access to the court website and retrieve information therefrom."