Professional Articles

“The COVID-19 Crisis – the New Challenges Before the Indian Justice and Court Administration System”

Authors:

Abstract

In India, the COVID-19 crisis came at a time when the focus was already on accelerating the setting up of E-courts and the digitization of justice and court administration. The journey of e-Governance initiatives in court administration started mainly in the mid-1990s and was further enhanced after enactment of the Information Technology Act 2000 (amended 2008). E-courts were launched as a part of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) way back in 2006. However, it appears that the sudden and unexpected advent of COVID-19 crisis has provided a greater fillip in bringing about a rapid transformation in the manner of court administration in the country. As physical appearances by lawyers and litigants were discouraged in courts due to the strict safety protocols of the COVID-19 crisis, greater use of technology, already put in place, came in handy in justice and court administration. This paper aims to broadly cover the situation in India before the COVID-19 crisis, and examine how the court administration reacted to various challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 crisis, particularly, in the period after lockdown. It will outline the major technological initiatives existing in court administration in India before the advent of the COVID-19 crisis, such as court related apps, before discussing how courts at various levels, including Lok Adalats (People’s Courts), the Supreme Court, the High Courts and the District and Subordinate Court, modified the manner of court functioning during COVID, accelerating the move towards e-Judiciary. It will then discuss some of the challenges that have been encountered, including reservations of the Bar, and major hurdles facing the court administration post-COVID 19.

Keywords:

Justice and Court AdministrationCOVID-19 CrisisInformation Technology Act2000 (amended 2008)Lok Adalats (People’s Courts)E-courtsE-judiciary
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 11
  • DOI: 10.36745/ijca.391
  • Published on 6 May 2021
  • Peer Reviewed