E-filing: Advocates lag behind litigants in High Court, states report

August 14, 2021 12:17 am | Updated 12:17 am IST - Bengaluru

Litigants arguing their own case without engaging the services of any advocate have outnumbered advocates in registering for the service of the e-filing portal launched by the High Court of Karnataka last year.

This information was disclosed before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice N.S. Sanjay Gowda on Friday in a report on e-filing cases, submitted by the High Court’s Registrar (Computers) N.G. Dinesh.

The Bench had sought a report on a PIL petition filed in 2019 by Dilraj Rohit Sequeira, a city-based advocate, seeking the facility of e-filing petitions.

As per the report, 455 litigants treated as party-in-persons for having chosen to argue their cases with engaging an advocate had registered with the e-filing portal, as against 317 advocates.

However, in the district judiciary, 1,991 advocates had registered as users in e-filing portals, as against 1,029 party-in-persons, as per data available on July 23, the report stated. The total number of cases filed through the e-filing portal in the High Court was 809, while it was 7,424 in the district judiciary.

“Though the e-filing facility has been enabled a long time back, very few members of the Bar have taken advantage of it,” the court noted in its order.

e-Seva Kendra

The report also stated that four e-Seva Kendra had been set up in the civil court complexes of Bengaluru city and rural districts, and the commercial court complex in Bengaluru to assist advocates and litigants in filing cases through the e-filing portal. While the process is underway to set up four e-Seva Kendras in the principal Bench of the High Court in Bengaluru, one kendra each is already functioning in the Dharwad and Kalaburagi Benches of the High Court.

It was also stated in the report that 86 more e-Seva Kendras would be set up in the district judiciary, depending on the number of court rooms in each court complex.

It was pointed out in the report that around 1,000 advocates from across the State had already been trained on the e-court services last year, in addition to the provision of training to 137 advocates as master trainers.

Over 1,000 court staff too have been imparted training in e-court services, the report stated, while pointing out that the user manual on e-filing is provided in the portal and being circulated through WhatsApp groups of advocates.

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