Monday, 7 November 2016

Unique IDs to track work of 17,000 judges

NEW DELHI: The government has issued unique identification numbers to 16,795 judges of district and subordinate courts across the country for better monitoring of their judicial functions. Supreme Court and high court judges have been exempted from the exercise. As part of ongoing judicial reforms and modernisation of courts, digital signatures have also been provided to most judges in the district and
subordinate judiciary so that they can sign orders while delivering the judgment, which can then be uploaded in real time. Judicial officers have been given laptops, printers and internet connections to facilitate the task. Modernisation of courts is being carried out by the government as part of the eCourts project monitored by the apex court. The first phase of the project was completed in March 2015. The second phase is under way and will include giving unique IDs to the remaining 2,482 judges of district and subordinate courts and extending video-conferencing facilities to all courts. TOI had reported on October 10 and 13 on the drive to allocate unique IDs to judges.The government had said the decision was part of a policy prepared under the guidance of the judge-in-charge of the eCommittee of the SC.

The idea behind giving unique IDs is to bring more transparency in judicial functions by making available all judgments delivered by a judge during his or her career on the publicly-accessible National Judicial Data Grid. The measure will help in effective tracking of judicial work.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is currently rolling out the upgraded software, the case information system (CIS) 2.0 version, for the eCourts project.

New additional fields in the system would make it mandatory for a judge to record the nature of daily proceedings, such as whether the hearing was for recording of witness statement, process evidence, arguments or if the case was adjourned. 

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