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Supreme Court announces National Judicial Data Grid portal for Supreme Court cases

The existing National Judicial Data Grid portals, under the aegis of the e-Courts Mission Mode Project, collect data on district and taluka and high courts across the country. The government announced a 7,210 crore package for Phase III of the project yesterday.  

TODAY, the Chief Justice of India Dr D.Y. Chandrachud announced the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) portal for Supreme Court cases.

The NJDG portal will have data on pendency and disposal of Supreme Court cases bifurcated into types of cases, year-wise and month-wise.

The CJI said: “What we are doing for the high courts and district courts, should also be done for the Supreme Court.”

The portal will be updated in real time and give details of three-judge and Constitutional Bench cases.

About the NJDG

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was an increased demand for and interest in bringing the Indian judiciary up to speed by making use of new developments in computer technology and internet services.

The e-Courts Mission Mode Project of the Ministry of Law and Justice was created to streamline the process of digitisation of the judiciary in India.

Phase-I of the eCourts project, which began in 2007, the focus was computerisation of district courts.

To this end, a large number of court complexes, computer server rooms and judicial service centres were readied 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.

Phase-II focussed on expanding the computerisation to more district courts with more services. High Courts received a fair bit of attention as well.

The NJDG is a flagship project implemented under the aegis of the e-Courts Mission Mode Project. 

The NJDG portal is a national repository of data relating to pending and disposed cases in district and other lower courts in India.

A similar portal containing data on high court cases across India was put in place as well.

As per data collected by both portals, 4,44,16,735 cases are pending before district and taluka courts and 60,72,047 cases are pending before the high courts in India.

The e-Committee constituted by the Supreme Court is a governing body which oversees the functioning of the e-Courts project along with the Ministry of Department of Law and Justice under the National Policy and Action Plan for implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The current chairman of the e-Committee of the Supreme Court is the CJI.

Previously, the e-Committee of the Supreme Court has worked in introducing model guidelines for live-streaming and recording of Constitutional Bench’s proceedings. 

In one of the Constitutional Bench hearings on the deoperationalisation of Article 370, the CJI remarked that one of the high courts in India did not have the money to pay for the license of the video conferencing platforms during the COVID pandemic. 

We had to purchase a few license and share it with the high court,” the CJI said.

The CJI announced that a “huge budget” has been allocated for the e-Courts project this year which will help in making lower courts in the country technically-friendly.

The Phase III of the e-Courts project, which was approved yesterday by the government, has been allocated 7,210 crore.

The CJI in his Independence day on Phase III of the e-Courts project said: “Phase III of the e-Courts project seeks to revolutionise the working of courts in India by inter-linking of all courts across the country, setting up the infrastructure of paperless court, digitisation of court records, and setting up advanced e-sewa kendras in all court complexes”.

As per a Supreme Court press release, the benefits of the NJDG can be summed up as increased transparency, accountability and responsibility, increased coordination, informed decision-making, optimum deployment of resources and manpower, single-source of data and huge potential for high-quality research work.

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