Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Search for information on Indian Judiciary in the Web. You will find the Supreme Court of India and several High Courts including the High Courts of junior States like Jharkhand and Chhatishgarh. But you will not find the High Court of Orissa.
This Court is now in news for another event. Some one has tampered with its communication in a case. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting an enquiry into the matter.
That some one could engineer such a mischief is enough indication of decline in respect for the court in howsoever small quarters might that be. One comes across people who prefer to suffer than moving the court for justice simply because they have no time to limp in litigations.
Most of the litigants are spending years in waiting for their respective cases to proceed. They are not convinced that there is no unusualness in this.
Manipulation in listing, which is a strong factor of delay in timely disposal of cases, having been felt profusely, it was decided to computerize the courts to restore peoples faith in judicature.
Accordingly computerization of courts started 15 years ago in 1990. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) was given this responsibility. Within these 15 years, it has implemented many applications in computerization of the Supreme Court and several High Courts, which have either direct or indirect beneficial impact on litigants.
One of these applications is the List of Business Information System (LOBIS). It is about listing or scheduling of cases to be heard by the courts on the following day. It enables the Registries of Supreme Court and High Courts in eliminating manual process of Cause List generation; thus any manipulation by vested interests. These databases contain details of fresh cases, disposed and pending cases. It is the backbone application of every Court.
It is mentioned in the Supreme Court Website that implementation of this application has been found beneficial in the following manner:
As Cause Lists are generated automatically by the computer, manual intervention has been eliminated resulting in generation of Cause List in time with out any hassle;
Cases are listed strictly in chronological order of date of filing; eliminated irregularities;
All cases having the same law point(s) to be decided by the courts are bunched/grouped and posted before one bench. This has helped the courts in faster disposal of cases;
It has become simpler to recall dismissed cases when review petitions are filed;
On the spot reliable and instantaneous statistical reports are generated;
It has helped Registry of Supreme Court in streamlining its day to day activities to achieve one of the main objectives of COURTIS Project
But these benefits are not available to the litigant public of Orissa. The Orissa High Court has no website of its own as a result of which judicial information is not easily available.
Case status is available to watch in respect of High Courts at Delhi, Rajsthan (at both Jodhpur and Jaipur), Gujrat, Patna, Andhra pradesh, Bombay and its Bench at Goa, the High Court of judicature both at Allahabad and Lucknow as well as the High court of Calcutta. But as Orissa High Court has no website, this facility is not available to the public as well as the lawyers.
The NIC must say or be made to say as to why it has failed to develop the website of Orissa Judicature.
Will the people at the helm of affairs in the State come forward with an answer?