When some of the lower courts in the district were computerised, the objective was to make the judicial system more accessible to the public. Computers were supposed to make it easier for court staff to retrieve information regarding cases and make the details available to the public. Almost three years after computers were installed in some of the lower courts in the district, they are of no big help to the public or court staff.
Their potential still remains largely unused in the few courts in the district where they have been installed.
Lists of cases called each day are still made by hand in some of these courts and persons wishing to track the status of various cases have no option but to enquire at the court personally.
Court officials hardly ever use the system and still pore over the court diary to find out the status of any case.
A court official said the staff was not provided enough training to utilise the potential of computers.
“We were given a week’s training in the evenings and we were told things like ‘This is the monitor and this is the CPU.’ That was all. Some people here still don’t know how to use the system,” said the official. Malfunctioning machinery is another headache for court staff.
The computerised High Court of Kerala has a website that posts updated information regarding status of disposed and pending cases, judgments passed, and cause lists.
The lower courts, however, have no mechanism to make this information available to the public easily. Any enquiry eats away the time of the court staff.
A court official said additional staff had not been recruited when new computers were installed.
“Earlier, we had to enter data only in the court diary. Now we have the added work of recording data in the system too,” he said.
Computerisation has not yet been completed in many of the courts in the State.