India opens first cyberforensics lab for court case info

The lab, located in the state of Tripura and to be fully operational by January 2014, will make court case related information available, in a bid to decentralize legal services across India and make the judicial system more efficient.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor
The lab will send SMS alerts automatically to both lawyers and litigants on the outcome of the court cases.

India has opened its first cyberforensics lab (CFL) in the state of Tripura to provide court case related information to facilitate greater efficiency in its judicial system.

According to The Economic Times on Tuesday, the lab, which will be fully operational by January 2014, will send SMS alerts automatically to both lawyers and litigants on the outcome of the court cases, a law department official said in the report.

Should any lawyer or petitioner remain absent on the day of the trial, the SMS alert will also go to all involved in the court cases, the official added.

Madan Lokur, a judge at India's Supreme Court, who inaugurated the lab on Sunday, explained it had been opened as law enforcers in the country wanted decentralization of legal services across India, and it had been difficult to control everything from capital New Delhi. High courts in the states would look after the lower courts to dispose the pending cases in the quickest possible time, he noted.

At the moment, 13,000 judicial officers including judges, have been trained about the e-court system and to equip them with the ongoing modernization of legal services, while several thousand judicial officers will be given training on the new system, Lokur noted.

To conduct an online trial, video conferencing systems are being expanded across the country, while judges or lawyers sitting in court can speak to the accused who are in jail, he added.

A National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) is also being developed under the Supreme Court's supervision, to provide information about legal services, court cases and judicial actions, Lokur noted.

The Chief Justice had first introduced the e-court program in India as a judge in the New Delhi High Court, along with video conferencing systems between the court and Tihar jail back in 2007. The e-court schemes would aid judges in taking appropriate action for quick disposal of pending cases in various courts, Lokur noted.

"With this new system of trial and administrative works, the litigants will be immensely benefited. It will save both time and money to get quick justice and prompt disposal of cases," Lokur added.

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