The Electronic file system (or EFS) is that the Singapore Judiciary’s electronic platform for filing and repair of documents within the litigation process. additionally , it provides the registries of the Supreme Court and therefore the Subordinate Courts with an electronic registry and workflow system; and an electronic case file. Recent enhancements have added a module which facilitates the conduct of hearing using documents that are electronically filed.
The EFS provides the bar with a rudimentary online case file from which documents are often electronically filed with the courts or served on the opposite parties during a case. The EFS is additionally the source for electronic cause book searches that are provided through the Litigation module of Law Net. EFS is about to get replaced by iELS eventually.
How To File A Case Online ?
In attempts to form justice less costly , more accessible and speedy the e-filing within the Supreme court commenced in India from 2 October 2006. This electronic innovation gained a robust recognition through its subsequent endorsement within the e-court project approved by government of India in February 2007. As a neighborhood of this project a user-friendly program with interactive features has been prepared by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). Within the court room, registrars make use of the EFS to conduct hearings in chambers electronically using the EFS.
The components of EFS
The EFS consists of the subsequent components:
• The Front-End (FE) accessed via the web from each ‘EFS ready’ Law Firm’s desktop.
• A Gateway (GW) that receives submissions from the LFs or the replies from the Courts, routes it to the acceptable party and computes the fees payable by the LF for the transaction.
• The Courts’ Workflow (WF) application that resides on Courts’ computers and caters for the interior routing and workflow processes within the courts.
• A Hearing Module that’s wont to conduct hearings electronically.
• A stand-alone Key Management System (KMS)
Front End Application
The EFS FE may be a web based solution that LFs access from their PCs via the web . A LF must register so as to realize access. Upon registration, the LF would be issued with smart cards containing the digital certificates from the Court’s Certification Authority. The FE provides LFs with a web case file through which they will view the documents which are filed by them, served on them or replied from the Courts. Upcoming hearing dates also are pushed through the EF at the firm level and at the case level. The FE’s File-n-Serve feature facilitates service of documents on other parties within the case with one click of the mouse.
Documents are transmitted in Portable Document Format (PDF). To file or serve a document, the LF has got to refill the acceptable online template within the FE and fasten the document to be filed or served in PDF format. the whole submission may contains one or several documents and this is often digitally signed using the open-end credit issued upon registration so as to make sure authenticity and non-repudiation.
When the LF files a document to the Court, the submission is received by the GW which then performs certain validations, computes the fees to be charged and identifies to which user department the submission is to be routed to. Replies from the Court are received by the GW and routed to the right LF for retrieval.
The GW performs the subsequent crucial functions: (a) Automated validation checks when documents are filed; (b) Implementation of certain special rules; (c) Automated routing of submissions into Courts’ in-trays; (d) Computation of stamp and other filing fees; (e) Exchange of data between the rear End and therefore the front .
Court’s Workflow Application
The business logic of the courts is made into this application. It encapsulates workflow routing, document management and statistical report generation; documents are stored during a jukebox. An electronic case file allows the straightforward retrieval of documents; and an upcoming enhancement will collate and present information concerning a case file within one easy to use interface.
The Hearing Module is customised to permit registrars and judges to form use of the EFS to conduct paper-less hearings in chambers. The Hearing Module pre-fetches the whole case file of hearings fixed before a registrar to the local PC to permit quick recall of documents. Dual screens are deployed to permit the viewing of the case file and minute sheets on one screen and therefore the viewing of documents on the opposite . The Pack-n-Go feature allows registrars and judges to download all the documents during a case file onto a thumb drive for reading reception .
Key Management System
The Courts operates as an independent Certification Authority which issues digital certificates on smart cards to LFs. The Key Management System (KMS), which is central to the present function, comprises the subsequent components: (a) A Certificate Authority Management System wont to issue and revoke digital certificates; (b) A Certificate Server that centrally stores the digital certificates; (d) A web-based Certificate Client System which LFs use to manage smart cards issued to them and to request for and receive digital certificates which are then stored within the smart cards; and (e) A web-based Key Generating Software which LF use to get their private–public key pair.
Instructions for e-filing registration
- First time users of Supreme Court E-filing need to register through the “Sign Up” option
- Through e-filing only Advocate-On-Record and petitioner-in-person can file cases within the Supreme Court Of India.
- Advocate option is to be chosen if you’re an Advocate-On-Record otherwise choose in-person option if you’re petitioner-in-person
- For Advocate-On-Record, his/her code (Advocate-On-Record Code) would be “Login Id”, while in-person will create his/her “Login Id” through “Sign Up” option. Password needs to be entered thereafter. “Login Id” and “Password” are going to be created once the mandatory requirements are filled properly.
- After successful login “Disclaimer Screen” appears on the screen. Clicking “I agree” button on the disclaimer allows the user to proceed further.
- After successful login the user can file a case electronically.
- “New Case” option allows the user to file a replacement case
- “Modify’ option allows the user to carryout changes to the already e-filed case, provided the court fee payment option isn’t invoked.
- Court fee are often paid only through mastercard
- Defects related to the e-filed case are going to be e-mailed to the advocate/petitioner by the Supreme Court Registry.
Apart from the Supreme Court, Delhi supreme court also commenced E-filling facility from October, 2013. It began for taxation and company courts during a phased manner but soon it might be introduced in civil and criminal courts.
Advantages Of E-filing
Convenience – Filing are going to be open for 24*7 basis. This accords one the flexibility to work at one’s convenience. Filing fees also can be paid from the comfort of one’s office/home using credit card/ internet banking.
Space – Where 2 lakh square feet of space is required to stay court files, whereas only 6 square feet of space are going to be enough after e-filing.
Immediate Access – An e-filing system which is correctly designed to supply online access to files will permit attorneys representing parties to possess immediate access to the filings as soon as they are up on site. No more expecting two or three days for a replica of the brief to return in mail.
Electronic Text-There are significant advantages to text over briefs and filings on paper. Electronic text can be searched. It can be quickly copied and pasted. It are often stored and archived on computer media, thus saving shelf space. Advocates or litigants can bring their petitions during a soft copying a PDF format at the e-filing centre found out at the court.
Transparency – It will improve transparency. Any technology which ends up in quicker and easier access to the courts, under a well-crafted set of rules would ultimately benefit the general public .
Disadvantages Of E-filing
Cost of Training– E-filing warrants tons of experience and IT knowledge. All participants including lawyer, judges, litigants must be conversant in these technologies and knowledge. This would incur huge training expenditure.
Vague Guidelines – No set of clear guidelines for advocate-on-record who are liable for filing cases on what professional standards and legal obligation they need to satisfy in handling electronically petitioner claims and relevant information.
Social and Cultural Barriers – Despite significant progress within the several areas, India’s socio-economical reality remains characterized by low literacy, purdah , discrimination and lack of IT knowledge and awareness. A study revealed that just one .2% of population in India as compared to 49.3% of Singapore and 52.5% of Australia can use online service. And 0.45% as compared to 46.46% in Australia has PCs.
Error – Electrical failure can cause temporary suspension or permanent loss of knowledge . Information can also be deleted in a error.
Though there are certain disadvantages to the e-filing system, but the number of advantages over shadow the disadvantages that are inherent to the present e-innovation Certainly, the introduction of the knowledge technology to the court proceedings will ultimately help in moving to next level of fully-fledged e-courts. This would surely reduce the back-log of cases and therefore the disadvantages of maintaining these through vast amount of papers and files.