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General Studies 2 >> Polity

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1. Context
The Supreme Court on (September 14 2023 ) onboarded its case data on the National Judicial Data Grid. The NJDG portal is a national repository of data relating to cases instituted, pending and disposed of by the courts across the country.
2. National Judicial Data Grid
  • The National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) is an online platform developed in India to provide transparency and easy access to information about the status and progress of cases in the judicial system. It was launched to promote efficiency, reduce delays, and improve accountability within the Indian judiciary.
  • NJDG is a database of orders, judgments and case details of 18,735 District and subordinate Courts and High Courts created as an online platform under the eCourts Project.
  • Its key feature is that the data is updated in real-time and has granular data up to the Taluka level.
  • The NJDG was built as part of Phase II of the e-Courts project, which is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme
  • With over 18,735 courts computerised across the country, the data is integrated with the NJDG. 
  • The platform has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in close coordination with the in-house software development team of the Computer Cell, Registry of the Supreme Court with an interactive interface and analytics dashboard
  • Currently, litigants can access case status information of 23.81 crore cases and more than 23.02 crore orders/judgments
3.Key Features

Here are some key features and aspects of the National Judicial Data Grid:

  1. Case Information: The NJDG allows users to access detailed information about pending and disposed of cases across various courts in India, from the Supreme Court to the district and subordinate courts. This includes details such as case number, case type, parties involved, and case status.

  2. Real-Time Data: The platform is designed to provide real-time data, ensuring that the information available is up-to-date. This helps in tracking the progress of cases and monitoring the backlog of pending cases.

  3. Search and Analytics: Users can search for specific cases or generate reports and analytics based on various criteria, such as court, case type, date of filing, or status. This feature enables legal professionals, researchers, and the public to gather insights and statistics related to the judicial system's functioning.

  4. e-Courts Integration: The NJDG is closely integrated with the e-Courts project, which aims to digitize court proceedings and processes. This integration facilitates the seamless flow of case information between the two platforms.

  5. Transparency and Accountability: The primary goal of the NJDG is to promote transparency and accountability within the judicial system. By providing easy access to case data, it allows stakeholders to monitor the performance of the judiciary and identify areas where improvements are needed.

  6. Access for All: While the NJDG is primarily used by legal professionals, it is designed to be accessible to the general public as well. This helps citizens to track the progress of their cases and better understand the workings of the judicial system.

  7. Data Security: Given the sensitive nature of case information, the NJDG places a strong emphasis on data security and confidentiality. Access to case data is typically restricted to authorized users, ensuring that private and sensitive information is protected.

  • NJDG works as a monitoring tool to identify, manage & reduce pendency of cases. Take, for instance, the Supreme Court data.
  • For the year 2023, the total pendency of registered cases in SC is 64,854. But the Cases instituted last month were 5,412 while cases disposed of in the last month were 5,033.
  • This shows that the pendency in SC is largely due to legacy cases since the Court is currently disposing of approximately the same number of cases filed on an annual basis
  • It also helps identify specific bottlenecks in judicial processes.
  • For example, if the number of land disputes in a particular state shoots up, it helps policymakers look into whether the law needs to be strengthened.
  • Referring to the data of year-wise pendency of cases, the CJI said the apex court has less than a hundred cases pending before 2000 and it gives data tools to the Chief Justice to re-organise work and dispose of the oldest cases.
5. Way forward
The National Judicial Data Grid has been a significant initiative in India to modernize and streamline the judicial system. It not only improves transparency and accountability but also enhances the efficiency of the legal process by making relevant information readily available to those who need it. This, in turn, contributes to the overall improvement of the justice delivery system in the country.
Source: indianexpress

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