The Delhi High Court addressed the issue of non-registration of interim applications in District Courts and issued directions for strengthening and streamlining e-filing and digitization of records.

Last year, the High Court had issued directions for the implementation of a Centralised Filing System on pilot basis in New Delhi District, which was reported to have been successfully implemented in Patiala House District Courts. However, in certain District Courts, records of decided cases are not being consigned to the record room by the ‘Ahlmad,’ which resulted in difficulties in obtaining certified copies/documents on time.

The Court discussed the urgent need for action in consigning decided cases from courts to record rooms and stated that the process was still underway in many District Courts for files from 2015 to 2021, with approximately 7,50,000 cases identified and ready to be weeded out.

Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora observed “We are of the opinion that weeding out on priority will ensure creation of required physical space in court rooms as well as the record rooms. It is therefore, imperative to carry out this process in a time bound manner.

Advocate Sahil Ralli represented the petitioner, while SC, GNCTD Avnish Ahlawat appeared for the respondents.

The Court held that once the facility of e-filing is made available in all jurisdictions, the issue of non-registration of interim applications will inevitably be addressed. The Court discouraged the acceptance of physical filing and held that “firstly, the e-filing process is made robust in the District judiciary so that parties as well as advocates can easily avail the facility of filing pleadings, documents and interim application online. Secondly, the e-filing be made mandatory in remaining Civil jurisdictions and Criminal complaint cases before the District Courts.”

In effect to this, the High Court issued the following directions:

  • Implementation of Centralized Filing System in all District Courts
  • Mandatory e-filing of pleadings, documents and interim applications in notified jurisdictions
  • Registrar General to extend mandatory e-filing in remaining Civil and Criminal jurisdictions.
  • Digitization of record rooms for decided cases, with ICT infrastructure and manpower from Principal District & Sessions Judges.
  • Define categories for petty cases and those of historical importance within two weeks.

Cause Title: Karan S Thukral v. The District & Sessions Judge & Ors. (2024 DHC 132-DB)

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