The Supreme Court will soon be linked to the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), a repository of data relating to the pendency of cases and disposal rate of courts right from the taluka level to the national level, Justice D Y Chandrachud said on Monday.

At present, the portal shows data only up to the High Court level.

A Bench of Justice Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant was hearing a matter in which it had ordered streamlining of revenue litigation process of the government through an information technology-based solution.

Justice Chandrachud, who is the chairperson of the E-Committee of the Supreme Court, said, "We have already got a module for Supreme Court Judicial Data Grid, that is ready, and I was having a look at it during the weekend. Very shortly, we will be having a link to the National Judicial Data Grid so that Supreme Court will also be on National Judicial Data Grid."

The Court, after perusing the status report filed by Additional Solicitor General Balbir Singh, on behalf of the Centre, said that data showed that there was still delay in the filing of appeals.

Singh said that all these appeals are arising out of the orders of the Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), which is at present working on Local Area Network (LAN) and has not switched over to cloud network functioning due to which integration with the Legal Information Management and Briefing System (LIMBS) portal has not been possible.

"The issue has been raised by president of CESTAT and we are hopeful in next four weeks, we will be able to switch over to cloud network and after that it will be integrated with LIMBS network," Singh said.

The Bench then said that it will list the matter for further hearing after the summer vacation and requested the president of CESTAT to ensure switching over to cloud networking so that integration with LIMBS portal is possible.

Justice Chandrachud said that high courts such as that of Delhi and Andhra Pradesh are still not on NJDG and if all the high courts are connected to the judicial grid, then they could be connected with LIMBS and that could be one way of achieving efficiency.

On August 27 last year, the top court was informed by the Centre that it has constituted a committee which will be headed by Ashish Shiradhonkar, who is heading the e-courts project at the National Informatics Centre, to develop a technological platform streamlining the appeal filing process related to direct and indirect taxation matters.

It was informed that the committee will complete its work in three months and will have members from the revenue department, CBDT and CBIT.

Earlier, the Apex Court had said that judges as citizens have genuine concerns about the revenue loss and asked the Centre to expedite streamlining the appeal filing process related to direct and indirect taxation matters.

The Court had asked the government to issue a notification about the setting up of a committee, which will monitor the process with technological intervention and the development of software for tracking of the cases.

The Centre had said that the National Informatics Centre (NIC) is collaborating to integrate LIMBS with the e-office mechanism so that real-time tracking of cases can be done.

The Apex Court had said that the government should have a similar system in place for Goods and Service Tax also, which will help in fast-tracking and speedy adjudication of cases and creating a business-friendly environment in the country.

It had said that the creation of a time-line which the government has thought of will be effective only if it is adhered to by all the departments down the line as the delay starts from their end.

Earlier, the Apex Court had taken serious exception to the failure of finance department officials in finalising a proposal to streamline the process of filing appeals and warned it will not hesitate to initiate contempt against them and take coercive action.

It had taken note of repeated adjournments sought in an appeal against the order of the Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal filed with a delay of 536 days.

On February 10 last year, the top court had said that the union government must find an answer to this state of affairs by ensuring that matters which are required to be litigated are litigated with all necessary dispatch and matters not worthy of being pursued are set to rest.

With PTI inputs