B.S. Ramesh

It was helpful to litigants, advocates

Service providers want to bill caller for the calls made

Advocates want the High Court to bear the cost

BANGALORE: Introduced with much fanfare and considered to be a boon to litigants and advocates who did not have access to the web, the system of obtaining information about a case and its status in the Karnataka High Court through mobile telephones has come to a stop.

Sources in the High Court told The Hindu that they had introduced last year the system of gathering information on a case through a mobile telephone or even a landline. This was in addition to the Integrated Voice Recorder System (IVRS).

The IVRS has become popular as it allows any person to access the status of a case in the High Court. All that one has to do is to dial one of the two numbers provided by the High Court and follow the recorded instruction.

Both the IVRS, which is a bilingual system, and information obtained though the mobile phone had mainly come as a boon to advocates and litigants, who either did not have access to the Internet or found it physically difficult to go through the cause list (published every day for cases taken up in each court) to ascertain the status of their case.

The information through mobile phone had come in handy for scores of people who are either on the move or who had little time to browse the web. The mobile phone users had to call pre-designated numbers to know the status of the cases they are interested in. People living in semi-urban areas and villages, who have limited access to the Internet, or those living in areas where electricity is scarce, had warmed up to the “mobile information” as they could get instant news about their case.

Phone numbers

People callers can dial either 080-22869542 or 080-22869547. The first thing a caller is asked is whether he would like to ascertain the status of a case in English or in Kannada. The caller has to dial 1 for English, 2 for Kannada and 3 if the caller knows the eleven digit IVRS code.

The first two operations in the menu are the normal mode and IVRS mode. In the normal mode, the system provides for the caller to know the status of the case by selecting suitable category, case type, case number and case year.

However, if a person uses the normal mode, he can get the case status of only certain main case types whereas if the eleven digit IVRS code is used, the status of any type of case is obtained.

Mobile phones

Though the IVRS is still operational, advocates and litigants can no longer get information through the mobile phone due to a small hitch. The service providers had initially provided free service to the court when the system was under testing. However, once the tests proved successful and more than 60 to 70 calls from the mobiles began poring in from mobile phones, the problems cropped up.

The service providers wanted to bill the person on the mobile phone for each call they made and for each information they sought about their case. The High Court had made efforts to reduce the rates for mobile callers. However, advocates refused to pay for the calls, saying that it should be borne by the High court and not by them. This tiff remained unresolved and it slowly led to the disuse of the “mobile information system”.

However, advocates can still call from the landline to register their calls through the IVRS. However, the advantage of obtaining information while on the move seems to have been lost, at least temporarily, till the glitch between the service providers and the end users s resolved.