The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the third phase of eCourts Project as a central sector scheme with a financial outlay of Rs 7,210 crore to be implemented over four years.
Briefing media after a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the eCourts Mission Mode Project is the prime mover for improving access to justice using technology in line with the PM's vision of "Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas".
As part of the National eGovernance Plan, the eCourts Project is under implementation since 2007 for ICT enablement of the Indian Judiciary. The Phase II of the project has concluded in 2023.
Phase III of the e-Courts Project, beginning 2023, in India is rooted in the philosophy of "access and inclusion", the minister said.
The third phase is aimed at ushering in a regime of maximum ease of justice by moving towards digital, online and paperless courts through digitisation of the entire court records including legacy records and by bringing in universalisation of e-filing/e-payments through saturation of all court complexes with e-Sewa Kendras, he added.
It will put in place intelligent smart systems enabling data-based decision-making for judges and registries while scheduling or prioritising cases.
The main objective of the Phase-III is to create a unified technology platform for the judiciary which will provide a seamless and paperless interface between the courts, the litigants and other stakeholders.
Citizens who do not have access to technology can access the judicial services from eSewa Kendras, thus bridging the digital divide, the government said.
Digitisation of court records also enables processes to become more environmental friendly by minimising paper-based filings and reducing the physical movement of documents.
Besides, virtual participation in the court proceedings can reduce costs associated with court proceedings such as travel expenses for witnesses, judges, and other stakeholders, while payment of court fees, fines and penalties can be made from anywhere, anytime.
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