With the government announcing an allocation of Rs 7,000 crore for the launch of the third phase of the e-Courts project in the Union Budget 2023-24, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday described the move as “unprecedented”, saying it will improve justice delivery system and pave the way for a “paperless” digital environment.

Rijiju made a series of tweets to hail the Union Budget 2023 -24. “Unprecedented – allocation to create paperless courts for faster delivery of justice. I thank PM Narendra Modi ji and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ji for timely announcing critical eCourts Phase-III Project with an outlay of Rs 7,000 crore in Budget for 2023-24,” Tweeted Rijiju.

He said the digitization of entire Court records would serve to pave the way for a completely paperless environment in the future. Rijiju said the move will ensure ‘Ease of Justice’ and further improve the justice delivery system that PM Modi has always envisioned. The Minister attributed the success of eCourts Project to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.

“I also compliment the Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud ji who as the Chairperson of the eCommittee of the Supreme Court of India has been instrumental in the success of the earlier phases of the eCourts Project and who personally supervised and mentored formulation of the DPR of the Phase-III of the Project,” Rijiju said.

The eCourts Project PhaseIII is the continuation of achievements that have been made during Phase-I and Phase-II of the project which allowed the wheels of our judiciary to turn even during the Covid-19 pandemic when the Courts had to be closed following the lockdown, he said.

The Law Minister further said the project envisages various path-breaking initiatives like Digital and Paperless Courts that aim to bring court proceedings under a digital format in a court, thereby, limiting the use of paper and speeding up the disposal of the cases “Online Court that focuses on eliminating the presence of litigants or lawyers in the court, expansion of scope of Virtual Courts beyond adjudication of Traffic Violations, use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning which would allow for data analysis to work towards reduction in pendency and understanding litigation patterns, forecasting future needs etc,” he tweeted.

Rijiju said 4,400 fully functional eSewa Kendras will provide assistance to all lawyers and litigants. Live streaming of Court hearings would allow for further transparency in judicial proceedings. An Online Dispute Resolution platform, the Law Minister said it will encourage alternate dispute resolution and a robust Video Conferencing System will create seamless connectivity between the Jails and Courts, allowing for all bail appearances over VC. The Union Budget 2023 allocated Rs 7,000 crore for the launch of the third phase of the eCourts project, aimed at digitizing the justice system. The announcement was made by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting her fifth consecutive Union Budget

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