The Uttarakhand High Court will now allow anyone to seek services of ‘e-court vans’, including children. This is intended to connect remote areas to virtual courts through an online link or after writing to a local administrator.
It was earlier reported that ‘e-court vans’ would initially be deployed in five hill districts of Pithoragarh, Champawat, Uttarkashi, Tehri and Chamoli. The Uttarakhand High Court stated that it would provide a link on its website through which people can seek services of ‘e-courts’. One can also write to the local administration.
The focus of e-courts would be to provide help to children, women and elderly living in remote parts of the state who find it difficult to approach courts to record statements or file complaints, said the Registrar General Dhananjay Chaturvedi.
In his statement, Mr. Chaturvedi stated, “people can approach local village officials, the administration, courts or volunteers of our legal services authority and request the facility. We will also provide a link on the high court’s website where people can ask for mobile courts. The entire effort is to make access to the judicial process easy for people living in the remotest parts of the state.”
Last year, during the Covid-19 pandemic, CJ Chauhan had introduced the first mobile virtual court connecting system in Adilabad when he was serving as the Chief Justice of the Telangana high court. Equipped with Internet facility and computers, the vans were flagged off by High Court Chief Justice R. S. Chauhan from the court premises soon after the flag hoisting ceremony on the occasion of Independence Day.
‘A brainchild of the Chief Justice, the mobile e-court vans are an attempt to serve justice to the furthest corners of the hill State,’ authorities said.
Judges will hear both civil and criminal cases online, while technical teams stationed in the vans will facilitate the appearance of witnesses, complainants and experts before the virtual court and also help with documentation. Investigating officers and medical experts can join the court through the vans.
“The e-court vans will map the physical distances between Courts and witnesses thereby reducing consumption of time,” the Chief Justice stated.
Uttarakhand is the first State in the country to start this service as a step towards providing speedy justice to people especially those in remote areas.