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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently launched a series of initiatives aimed at making the system more litigant-friendly and environmental-friendly, apart from facilitating the expeditious disposal of cases.
A press release issued by the Court highlights the following measures, which were introduced under the aegis of Chief Justice Krishna Murari.
Moving towards a Paperless system
The introduction of an e-Payment module has facilitated payment for services such as getting copies, inspection etc. through digital methods such as Internet Banking, Debit/Credit cards etc.
New printing parameters for both-side printing of the pleadings filed in Court are also being introduced. This measure is expected to save of about 1.50 crore papers every year, in addition to freeing up space otherwise required for storage.
The need to file the record of the Writ Petition in Letters Patent Appeal has been dispensed with, which is expected to save around 2.50 lakh papers per year.
Further, instead of physical print-outs of receipts, ‘e-Receipts’ are being introduced. These e-Receipts are SMSes which will be sent on the registered mobile number of the applicant.
To appreciate the impact this measure could make, it can be noted that 5 lakh receipts were issued in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for filing of different applications last year, consuming around 800 rolls of paper, equivalent to 400 rims of A4 size paper (500 sheets each).
For Expeditious Disposal of cases
As far as the expeditious disposal of cases is concerned, last month the Chief Justice met with Judicial Officers across the State and gave various directions towards this end. The progress is being monitored regularly.
Notably, three Special Benches have also been constituted by the Chief Justice for expeditious disposal of murder references pending in High Court, seeking confirmation of capital punishment. The three Special Benches are as follows:
1. Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill
2. Justice AB Chaudhari and Justice Surinder Gupta
3. Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Raj Shekhar Attri
IT initiatives launched by the Court
In a meeting held on Tuesday with the members of the Bar, Justice Rajesh Bindal, who heads the Computer Committee also sensitized the advocates regarding the latest IT initiatives taken by the High Court to benefit the lawyers, litigants and the general public. The meeting was attended by Justice Surinder Gupta, Justice Arun Palli and Justice BS Walia, members of the Computer Committee.
A facility to allow online application for the supply of certified copies of orders for inspection has also been started. The certified copy of any order applied online is delivered to the applicant’s residence through speed post. This facility is also available for the orders etc. of Districts Courts.
The measure is also aimed at helping people stay up to date regarding the court proceedings. The case status information can be accessed in around 12,000 Common Service Centres in the State. Any litigant can even apply for
certified copy of an order through those centers.
As it stands, the website of Punjab and Haryana High Court is the only website amongst those of Courts in India with a five-star rating on the National Portal of India (www.india.gov.in).
The recently launched mobile application for High Court i.e. PHHC eCourts Services’ app may also be availed by any person/litigant interested in obtaining any information about a Court case.
A dedicated website link of Indian Judiciary has been provided on the website of Indian Consulate, Canada (i.e. www.cgi.toronto.ca). Anyone visiting the said website can access links of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Supreme Court of India, National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), High Courts of India, District Courts of India, e-Courts Services Mobile Application for Android, e-Courts Services Mobile Application of iOS and help videos.