Department of Justice to start live demonstrations in courts post-Covid19 to provide hands-on training to lawyers for e-filing & other facilities: Official

Saturday, October 10, 2020

New Delhi, 10th October 2020:
The Department of Justice with e-committee of Supreme Court is planning to start live demonstration to provide hands on training to lawyers and the legal community in terms of electronic filing of complaints, summons payments and other such facilities once the Covid-19 enforced lockdown period gets over and physical courts start functioning normally, a top official said at an ASSOCHAM webinar today.
 
“While the e-filing videos have been uploaded on YouTube and manuals are available for download, but since everyone is not tech savvy, live-demonstrations will start soon in the corridors of courts,” said Mr G.R. Raghavender, joint secretary (National Mission for Justice Delivery & Legal Reforms), Department of Justice, Government of India at a webinar on ‘Enforcing Contract: Government Reforms and Way Forward,’ hosted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
 
He added, “For that e-committee of Supreme Court has trained many lawyers as master trainers who will help the legal community in the court as to how to e-file and fetch information and all that.”
 
Mr Raghavender said that this along with facilities like e-summons will also reduce lot of time.
 
Noting that India is planning to further improve and break into top 50 in terms of World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking, he said that enforcement contract is a key performance indicator and in this regard India has moved from the rank 178 in 2016 to 163 in 2020. “A lot of has been done but the impact has not been felt.”
 
“We have constituted a taskforce to implement the reforms in the enforcing contract indicators and to monitor the same, with secretary, Department of Justice as its chairman and joint secretary i.e. myself as convenor. The other representatives in this task force are from Supreme Court, Delhi and Mumbai High Courts, law secretaries of Delhi and Mumbai along with a senior DPIIT official,” he said.
 
Mr Raghavender further informed, “We hold one meeting of the taskforce quarterly, but have weekly and fortnightly meetings doing continuous monitoring and going back to this task force for any policy decisions to be taken to implement.”
 
The enforcing contract indicator is measured on the basis of three important parameters - time estimate, cost estimate and quality of judicial process index.
 
He explained, in India, for resolving a commercial dispute in a district commercial court it takes 1,445 days which is worse than South-Asian average of 1,101 days, in OECD high-income countries it is just 557 days, in Singapore and New Zealand it takes 164 days.
 
While in terms of cost estimates, in India 31 per cent goes as the legal expenditure of the dispute, whereas in South-Asia it is 29.6 per cent, in OECD countries it is 21.5 per cent and in Iceland it takes only nine per cent, in Bhutan it is 0-1 per cent.
 
In terms of the quality of the judicial process index, it has an 18-point score. “India's score is 10.5, despite scoring above average still we have not fared better, while in South-Asian average is 7, OECD is 11 and in top 20 countries it is 15.5 per cent.”
 
The joint secretary stated that in terms of reducing the time taken for commercial dispute, it is required to reduce the 1,445 days to achieve the target given by Prime Minister i.e. 800 days of entire time including enforcement - the time taken includes filing and summons, trial and judgement and execution/enforcement of judgement.
 
“It takes 45 days for filing and summons, this needs to be reduced and only e-filing and e-summons can do disruption. The most troublesome area is trial and judgement which is another reason for the delay as we are taking 1,095 days which needs to be reduced,” said Mr Raghavender.
 
In order to carry out the reforms, he invited comments and urged the industry to give suggestions to improve and reduce the time for filing and service, trial and judgement and execution of judgement which takes 305 days. Besides, he said suggestions are invited for legal amendments in CPC, court procedures, case and court management, court fees and other aspects.
 
Noting that case management needs to be improved to reduce the time taken and reduce pendency, he suggested that lawyers need to use court management tools available on the Department's website.
 
Amid others who addressed the ASSOCHAM webinar included - Mrs Sushma Paul Berlia, chairperson, ASSOCHAM Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Council and President, Apeejay Group; Mr Uddhav Poddar, co-chair, ASSOCHAM Ease of Doing Business Council and Managing Director, Bhumika Realty (Urban Square) and Mr Anil Chopra, co-chair, ASSOCHAM EoDB Council & Managing Partner, Dewan PN Chopra & Co.
 
 
About ASSOCHAM:
ASSOCHAM initiated its endeavour of value creation for Indian industry in 1920. It was established by promoter Chambers, representing all regions of India. Having in its fold over 400 Chambers and Trade Associations, and serving over 4.5 lakh members across India. ASSOCHAM has emerged as the fountainhead of Knowledge for Indian industry, which is all set to redefine the dynamics of growth and development in the Knowledge Based Economy. More information available on www.assocham.org
 
For further details, please contact:
 
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ASSOCHAM
ASSOCHAM
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