The Delhi High Court launched its Information and Communication Technologies (I.C.T.) initiatives on Independence Day, maintaining its record of revolutionizing the electronic legal ecosystem. Justice Rajiv Shakdher, Chairman, Information Technology Committee, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, Justice Sanjeev Narula, Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav, Member Information Technology Committee, and the other companion judges were present when Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, Chief Justice, performed the inauguration. The program was also attended by Registrar General, Registrar (Vigilance), Pr. District & Sessions Judge, Family Court and Commercial Court Judges, Addl Solicitor General, Standing Counsel Civil & Criminal, GNCTD, Principal Secretary (Law, Justice & Legislative Affairs), President & Secretary, Delhi High Court BAR Association, NIC officials and other dignitaries.
The major announcements are as follows:
1. S3WaaS Platform
The S3WaaS platform saw the creation of ten new websites for each Delhi District Court. The district courts’ websites used to run on the Drupal platform earlier, however, Secure, Scalable, and Sugamya Website as a Service (S3WaaS) websites are GIGW (Guidelines for Indian Government Websites) compliant, built on Open-Source Technology, with integrated search, and have accessibility complaints. All documents on the websites are maintained in O.C.R. format for the convenience of users who are blind or visually impaired. The old websites’ data is likewise transferred to the new platform.
2. Trial Court Record Digital Platform
The Trial Court Record (T.C.R.) Digital Platform for Sharing with the High Court was released. The TCR was formerly distributed to the High Courts on CDs which used to become corrupted and damaged from use and abuse. Through an SSL VPN-based platform, the district courts can easily communicate the T.C.R. record with the High Court, and for the digital transfer of the Trial Court Record (TCR) with the High Court, an office order dated 10-08-2023 has already been issued. The seamless transfer of TCR in digital form will be made possible by this technology. Additionally, it will assist in reducing the cost incurred by the District Court in purchasing a sizable quantity of CDs.
3. Web Accessibility Compliant Cause List
The Supreme Court of India has published a standard operating procedure (SOP) for creating documents that are accessible to people with disabilities. To carry out this duty, the High Court has established the Accessibility Committee, which is led by Justice Rajiv Shakhder. After receiving input from interested parties and with the help of attorneys Mr. Rahul Bajaj and Mr. Amar Jain, who are blind, the High Court of Delhi’s cause list is made web-accessible. This Web Accessibility Compliant Cause List will help the visually impaired Advocates, litigants and public at large to access the cause list of the Delhi High Court seamlessly by using various accessibility text-to-speech software.
4. Accessibility Committees
In accordance with the High Court, accessibility committees would be established in all District Courts. The information about these committees will be posted on the District Courts and High Court websites. For a variety of accessibility-related requirements, any advocate, litigant, or member of the public may lodge complaints and ask these bodies for help. On the District Courts’ new S3WaaS website, there is also a feedback form where requests, recommendations, and complaints can be filed electronically.
5. The Delhi Judicial Academy has been instructed to hold regular training sessions for lawyers and court personnel on how to create accessible documents and respond to the needs of people with disabilities with proper care and sensitivity.
Thus, projects like electronic filing, electronic record inspection, digital traffic courts, hybrid e-Seva Kendras, etc. have already been undertaken by the High Court. The new I.C.T. initiatives focused on accessibility will be a huge step forward in addressing the accessibility demands of the digital environment and will open the door for other Courts to follow suit.