Saturday, April 30, 2011

Access to Justice For Indian Marginalised People

This is the updated version of my previous article on similar topic. This article focuses on strengthened access to justice in India for poor and marginalised segments of India. At the same time it also provides information and communication technology (ICT) related means and methods so that easy and cost effective justice to the poor and marginalised in India can be ensured. This can be done by inculcating appropriate skill development, especially e-courts skill development capabilities, to lawyers and judges of India.

Another crucial aspect is that e-courts in India can make Indian judicial system more transparent and user friendly. Although e-courts project of India has been launched as a mission mode project under the national e-governance plan (NEGP) of India, it has failed to materialise so far. Despite spending crores of money, we are still waiting for the establishment of first e-court of India.

Of late, the Law Minister Mr. Veerappa Moily has been very active in suggesting judicial reforms in India. They are very good reforms and if implemented in a timely manner would drastically reforms the judicial system of India. Indian judicial system needs a complete overhaul.

However, there are grey areas as well. Take the mobile train courts scenario. A better result could have been achieved through e-courts by not even leaving the court or chamber of a judge or lawyer. The extra costs and manpower could be saved by a good e-court model.

The problem seems to be lack of expertise and skill development initiatives to establish and manage effective e-courts in India. There is just a single techno-legal e-courts training, research and consultancy centre in the entire world. It is managed by Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB), the premier techno legal segment of exclusive techno legal ICT law firm Perry4Law. Fortunately, the same is an Indian centre and the same can be handy while inculcating techno-legal ICT skills among judges, lawyers, court staffs, etc.

Of course, appropriate training is required before the judges, lawyers, court staff, etc can actively use e-courts. Even that aspect has been taken care of by the online platform of PTLB. The judges, lawyers, etc can learn about important techno-legal fields like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, telecommunications laws, e-courts, etc even while sitting in their respective chambers. Further, training in the area of online dispute resolution (ODR) is also available. We hope Law Minister Moily would consider these initiatives while bringing suitable legal and judicial reforms in India.