Article by Muskan singh at lexcliq




The virtual courts also known as e-Courts (electronic courts) is a concept aimed at eliminating the presence of litigants or lawyers in the court and adjudication of the cases using online mode.
This conceptualization of e-Courts was submitted by the e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India with a futuristic vision to transform Indian Judiciary System on the basis of National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation and enablement of information and communication technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary.

The vision was to make legal proceedings transparent and reliable, justice delivery system affordable and cost effective. Electronic courts i.e. e-Courts are mainly concerned about the process to make legal processes easier and more user friendly.

The main objective of the court is to provide designated services to litigants, lawyers and the judiciary by universal computerization of district and subordinate courts in the country and enhancement of ICT by enablement of the justice system.

Other merits and objectives of e-Courts / virtual courts :

  • Computerization of the new courts, legal service authority offices and state judicial academies are to be done.
  • All the Courts of India are to be connected to the National Judicial Data Grid though WAN ( wide area network ) and additionally redundant connectivity will be enabled for the integration of the proposed interoperable criminal justice system.
  • It aims at providing efficient & time-bound citizen centric services delivery and to enhance judicial productivity by developing, installing & implementing decision support systems in courts.
  • The automated process is to provide transparency in accessibility of information. The main focus of e-Courts is also concerned about the pendency of the increasing number of cases day by day.


Demerits of e-Courts / virtual courts :

  • It has an endlessly complicating process to be followed for example : e-Filling of the documents and forms.
  • Lack of legal expertise is also a main concern for the poor functioning of e-Courts in India.
  • All the evidence cannot be produced in a digital format. Network issues and technical glitches also leads towards difficulties during hearings/ trials and judgements. Risks of hacking is also arises on virtual platforms.
  • There are high possibilities of tampering the key evidences and confidential information during or before online hearings / trials and the courtroom meetings may also get leaked.
  • Mismanagement and coordination problems may also arise while operating virtual platforms.


Conclusion :

Electronic courts are an important part of the Legal ennoblement of ICT systems in India. It comes along with a lot of merits and demerits but at the same time can act as tool to reduce the pendency of the cases by continuing them on virtual platforms specially in times of covid. It can be used as an efficient and effective alternative for the physical courts as well. Taking into account of the ongoing world crisis this seems to be the good solution for continuing all the legal work with safety measures as there is no requirement to be present at a physical level for hearings/ trials. Virtual courts may efficiently reduce workload but there are still high possibilities for mismanagement in the legalities.

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