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Five Paperless Benches To Start Functioning Today: Kerala High Court Issues Guidelines

Hannah M Varghese
1 Aug 2022 6:35 AM GMT
Five Paperless Benches To Start Functioning Today: Kerala High Court Issues Guidelines
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As five benches gear up to go paperless starting today, the Kerala High Court has issued certain guidelines to be followed by the lawyers. Paperless courts have been introduced in the single benches with Bail jurisdiction and Tax matters as well as the division bench that considers appeals from these single benches. In addition to this, all Bail Applications that are considered on...

As five benches gear up to go paperless starting today, the Kerala High Court has issued certain guidelines to be followed by the lawyers. 

Paperless courts have been introduced in the single benches with Bail jurisdiction and Tax matters as well as the division bench that considers appeals from these single benches. 

In addition to this, all Bail Applications that are considered on other Benches of the High Court will also be in paperless mode from today.

In an attempt to dispense with the need to file physical copies, these Benches have introduced 'all in one touchscreen personal computers' for advocates which will automatically display their case files as the matter is called.

It has also been notified that copies to be served to Government Pleaders, Central Government Counsels and standing counsels of other institutions can be continued to be done via the online dashboard at the time of e-filing. 

Commenting on the innovative venture, Justice Muhammed Mustaque, Chairman of the High Court's Computer Committee remarked that the court is witnessing and going through a path-breaking era.

"Today we are transforming a few of our courts to E Courts/paperless courts with the aid of technology. These are not courts implemented with a vision only to avoid papers but the architecture is such that its impact on the administration of the justice delivery system is far beyond," Justice Mustaque added. 

The Judge also stated that the Court was looking forward to a 'new case flow management making everything available at our fingertips'.

"At present, our system is totally dependent on manual management. There is no proportion in the number of cases filed, pending and the number of manpower available for its processing and management. This critically affects the speed and efficiency of case management. Our Government is not in a position to enhance manpower. We are bound to find alternatives for the future of this institution. The need of the hour is a focused, speedy and disciplined case flow and case management," he added. 

Justice Mustaque also mentioned that the new system will enable tracking of every case in the court since dates can be auto-generated now. No case in the list will go undated. The system also enables digitally signed orders to reach the Advocates dashboard as and when it is signed and approved by the Judge apart from many other features. It has also been informed that tutorials on the project are ready and uploaded.

"To bring discipline and order in case flow , we need to streamline our process of case management. We have made an attempt to ensure timely despatch of our orders and judgments through this process . We are lagging behind in adopting and adapting technology which has solutions to all delay concerns. Our Institutions future is dependent on how well we are prepared to adopt and adapt to these changes. Only a combined effort can change our routine and age old mode and method of working for enhancing administration and dispensation of Justice for the people," said the Judge. 

While affirming that the IT and judicial sections shall support and erase the glitches that may occur, it was emphasised that the implementation of this project cannot be improved without the cooperation, patience and support of the Bar . 

"On behalf of the Chief Justice and the Judges of the Computer Committee, I acknowledge the support and cooperation of the Kerala High Court Bar Association, the Bar Council, Advocate Clerks Association and all other stakeholders of this Institution in all our endeavours and In the paperless court project.We request the same support and cooperation in the days ahead for its proper and successful implementation," concluded Justice Mustaque.

Guidelines Issued By Registrar General:

  • As presently followed, the copies served to Government Pleaders, SGCS and other institutional standing counsel in the matters e-filed in the jurisdiction of paperless courts can be through the dashboard by marking the copy at the time of e-filing. However, this may not be possible in the case of parties, respondents or institutions which have no standing counsel nominated/approved. In such cases, in order to enable service of notice or other processes, as per the order of the court, the advocate who e-filed the case shall produce necessary physical copies for such services. 
  • In the case proposed to be filed before the paperless courts, it is not necessary to file physical copies of the e-filed case after scrutiny by FSOs and once the case is detected error-free, it will be automatically listed as per standing instructions in this part. However, originals of documents which are required to be produced by the e-filer as per the existing instructions shall be produced in the filing section. All such documents shall be produced as per Rules and consideration of the case shal be subject to the production of originals. 
  • As of now, 'all in one touch screen personal computers are provided for the use of advocates in the paperless courts. The display of case and case files is automatic with the case taken on board as initiated by the court officer and the Advocate need not log in to view the case file taken on board. They only have to open the case file for viewing and for representing the case. 

Click Here To Read/Download The Guidelines

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